Mental Health First Aid

Become A Mental Health First Aider

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 4 people have a diagnosable mental health disorder in any year. Yet, the average delay for someone receiving services is ten years. While many factors play a role in the delay, timely recognition and assistance at the onset of a mental health disorder is a major cause.

Mental Health First Aid is a public education training that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of a developing mental illness including anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. This 8-hour course uses role-playing, simulations, videos, and lecture to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis or emerging disorder and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in a mental health crisis:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Like CPR or first aid, Mental Health First Aid training is meant for everyone. It prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions, like “what do I do?” and “where can someone find help?” Journey Mental Health Center First Aid instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addiction treatment and support. All trainees receive a program manual to compliment the course material.

Mental Health First Aid Courses taught by Journey Mental Health Center:

Adult Mental Health First Aid

The original Mental Health First Aid training focuses on mental health disorders and crises common in adults age 18 and older.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Half of all lifetime mental illnesses begin by age 18. Suicide and self-harm are common mental health crises among youth. Youth Mental Health First Aid training focuses on mental health disorders most common in ages 12-18. The 8-hour training introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.

Mental Health First Aid for Law Enforcement, Corrections and Public Safety

The course is taught to police, first responders, corrections officers, and other public safety audiences. Mental Health First Aid for Law Enforcement, Corrections and Public Safety provides officers with more response options to help them de-escalate incidents and better understand mental illnesses so they can respond to mental health related calls appropriately without compromising safety.

Mental Health First Aid for Older Adults

Mental illness and aging can often be a double stigma. Older adults and care partners are less likely to identify a problem as a symptom of a mental health disorder. Furthermore, older adults have high rates of late onset mental health disorders (anxiety/depression), and low rates of identification and treatment. There is negative bi-directional impact between mental disorders and health conditions. Even “mild” mental illness symptoms can have catastrophic consequences in vulnerable older adults.

Mental Health First Aid for Older Adults builds upon the effectiveness of the original Mental Health First Aid curriculum by focusing on older adults and the aging population.

Mental Health First Aid for Higher Education

Nearly 75% of mental illnesses develop before age 25, making colleges ideal locations for early identification. However, the number one reason students say they do not use mental health resources is lack of knowledge that those resources even exist. Mental Health First Aid for Higher Education is designed with colleges’ and universities’ unique culture and resources in mind. Training students, faculty, and others in higher education settings how to recognize the symptoms of emerging mental illnesses or to assist young adults in a mental health crisis, can help lessen the severity and impact of mental illnesses.

For Questions Or To Schedule A Corporate/Organizational Course

Please contact:
Dan Muxfeld
(608) 280-2566

Secure Online Registration

Choose the course you wish to register for from the list below. Fill out your contact information and submit your booking. You will then be redirected to PayPal where you can review your purchase and securely process the transaction. You do not need a PayPal account to perform the transaction, as major credit cards are accepted.

Class Requirements

By clicking “Agree to class requirements” below, you acknowledge that:

I agree to attend all 8 hours of instruction for Mental Health First Aid Training. I understand if I do not attend all 8 hours of instruction, I will not receive Mental Health First Aid certification.  No refunds for the course will be given after the first class starts.


Nolen Center - Journey Mental Health Center
710 John Nolen Dr
Madison, WI 53713

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