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Judith LeDoux

Project Director, Mental Health First Aid
Psychology
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Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety Professionals

Mental health challenges in our communities are at a crisis level which puts a significant strain on professionals in the public safety sector. With the help of United States Senators Markey and Warren, Anna Maria College was awarded a US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance grant and has launched an initiative to equip the public safety community with the skills and education they need to address and manage a mental health situation. The goal of this initiative is to increase the number of instructors and individuals trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) across all public safety sectors, including law enforcement, the fire service, emergency medical services, corrections, probation and dispatch. These trainings – both for new instructors and trainees – will be offered at no cost to the public safety department or agency.

MHFA is a nationally recognized training program from the National Council on Mental Wellbeing that teaches participants about mental health and substance use. The training increases mental health literacy and reduces stigma associated with mental health challenges. Participants learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges and explore ways to defuse mental health crises. It entails eight hours of skills-focused training, which can be presented in either a classroom or virtual setting as a single one-day workshop or as two four-hour sessions and may be eligible for continuing education credit.

To schedule a training or learn more about the program, contact the project coordinator at mhfa@annamaria.edu.

Interested in becoming an MHFA Instructor? Click here  to request to register for the next Instructor Training (November 8-10 at Anna Maria College)

Interested in having a certified instructor train your department?  Click here!

An information sheet on MHFA training for Public Safety personnel is available at: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/population-focused-modules/public-safety/.

An information sheet on MHFA training for Fire and EMS personnel is available at: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/population-focused-modules/fire-and-ems/

An information sheet on MHFA training for Corrections professionals is available at: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/population-focused-modules/adults/corrections/

More Information

Info Sheet for MHFA for Fire & EMS
Info Sheet for MHFA for Public Safety
Info Sheet for MHFA for Corrections Professionals
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Related Academic Programs
General Questions
Contact Information

Related Academic Programs

Anna Maria College offers degree programs in many related fields, including:

General Questions

Click below for information on some general questions.

What is the time commitment involved?

Mental Health First Aid training is a day-long session. To be trained as an Instructor in Mental Health First Aid, the training is four days. Because of the federal funds supporting this program, the training comes at no cost to the department or agency.

How many instructors are needed to do a training?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) recommends two instructors per training.  This allows each instructor time to prepare, take breaks, and debrief privately with trainees as needed.

What if my city or town is small?

One idea is to coordinate with another city or town across a region or county 1) to identify potential MHFA instructors and 2) to identify public safety professionals who could be certified in Mental Health First Aid.  We would recommend identifying at least two instructors who can then facilitate MHFA trainings across one region.

What is the cost to be trained as a MHFA instructor?

Typically, the cost to become a MHFA instructor is several thousand dollars between tuition and travel expenses.  This project will cover these costs.

What are the requirements to be an instructor?

Instructors should have a background in public safety.  Instructors teach from a national curriculum, tailor discussions to their participants, and compile a list of local resources for help.  More information on instructor trainings can be found here.  If you have other questions regarding training requirements, please email MHFA@annamaria.edu.

What are the next steps?

If you’re interested in becoming a MHFA instructor or becoming trained in MHFA, please contact the program director at MHFA@annamaria.edu

About the Grant

This project was supported by Grant No. 15PBJA-22-GG-00128-BRND, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance.  The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office.  Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Contact Information

John Pratico, PsyD, LMHC

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Dean of Behavioral and Mental Health Programs
(508) 849-3413

Judith LeDoux

Project Director, Mental Health First Aid
Psychology