What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour course that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health and substance-use concerns, builds understanding of their impact, and gives an overview of common treatments.
There is an adult and youth version of the course; both are intended for participants 18 and older. The adult version teaches how to recognize and support someone who might be experiencing a mental health or substance use issue, while the youth version teaches those who work with adolescents and transition-age youth similar concepts and skills. There is a teen course currently being piloted in which the participants are older adolescents. MHFA courses teach participants how to enact a five-step action plan to help someone who is potentially in crisis. Participants will also be made aware of professional, peer, and self-help resources.
The 83rd Texas Legislature initiated requirements for the Health and Human Services Commission to provide grants to Local Mental Health Authorities to train staff and contractors as MHFA instructors.
The 84th and 85th Texas Legislative sessions broadened the eligibility criteria for training participants to include all school district employees, resource officers and employees of institutions of higher learning. These legislative changes allow public school employees and employees of higher education institutions (public and private) to receive MHFA training at no cost. The 86th Texas Legislature made it a requirement for veterans and their family members to receive training in the veterans’ module of MHFA.
Take A Course
Each Local Mental Health Authority conducts training in its own service area. To find the LMHA in your area, visit the HHSC website.
You can find all available MHFA training by visiting the National Council for Behavioral Health website.
If you are a public school district employee, you can look up the Local Mental Health Authority for your school district here (Excel).