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 email@example.com.
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 InformationInfo Sheet for MHFA for Fire & EMS
Click below for information on some general questions.
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.
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.
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.
Typically, the cost to become a MHFA instructor is several thousand dollars between tuition and travel expenses. This project will cover these costs.
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.
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.