Nutrition, Health & Physical Activity banner

Mental Health First Aid for Youth

Description: Mental Health First Aid introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health programs and reviews common treatments. The program has demonstrated effectiveness in improving trainees' knowledge of mental disorders, reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and increasing the amount of help provided to others.


Curriculum/program overview: Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking public education program that helps the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid USA is managed, operated and disseminated by three national authorities — the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

Mental Health First Aid is offered in the form of an 8-hour course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S. and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Those who take the 8-hour certification course as Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

The 8-hour Mental Health First Aid USA course has benefited a variety of audiences and key professions, including primary care professionals, employers and business leaders, faith communities, school personnel and educators, state police and corrections officers, nursing home staff, mental health authorities, state policymakers, volunteers, young people, families and the general public.

Contact person: Alison Copeland & Lucy Schrader

Evaluation tool:

Sample report

Fee information: Workbook cost. Public good program. Most sessions funded through grants and sponsorships.

Program website: