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Mental Health First Aid Certification Program

 

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenges, builds understanding of their impact and provides an overview of appropriate supports. It teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders.

ALA’s Mental Health First Aid Certification Program is an interactive training course comprised of 2 hours of self-paced content (to be completed online independently prior to the live session) and one 6.5-hour instructor-led session over Zoom. The one-day training program was offered on four consecutive Fridays. Due to the interactive nature of this course, there was a maximum of 30 participants per offering.


Participants chose one of the following course dates:

Friday, September 10, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Central          

Friday, September 17, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Central          

Friday, September 24, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Central         

Friday, October 1, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Central                   



Background

One in five Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. It's hard enough for friends and family to know when and how to provide support. But when mental health challenges affect an individual's work, their employers and colleagues may be at even more of loss about what to do.

Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training to assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis. Mental Health First Aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

MHFA was introduced in the United States in 2008 and has become a significant movement here — over 2 million people are certified Mental Health First Aiders, and that number is growing every day. The course is offered to a variety of audiences, including university professors and staff; doctors, nurses and other hospital employees; employers; business leaders; faith communities; and law enforcement.

A 2018 study of the Adult and Youth Mental Health USA curricula concluded that the program:

  • Reduced stigma around mental illness.
  • Increased participant knowledge about mental health.
  • Raised participant confidence to use the MHFA five-step action plan (ALGEE).
Course Details

MHFA is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenges, builds understanding of their impact and provides an overview of appropriate supports. The course uses roleplaying and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care. The program also teaches common risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenges.

Each class was provided in a blended format:

  • The first portion of the course took place on an e-learning platform, Cornerstone, in a self-paced, on-demand format. Participants were invited to complete this on their own.
  • The second portion of the course was led by an instructor. Held over Zoom, this part of the course provided an interactive experience for 6.5 hours of synchronous learning.

This course taught attendees how to apply the ALGEE action plan:

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

As part of their enrollment, each participant had access to:

  • The Mental Health First Aid Participant E-Manual, which provides detailed information on how to use the MHFA five-step action plan, plus peer-reviewed research on signs, symptoms and how to support others
  • The Participant Processing Guide, used throughout the course
  • National mental health resources
  • A Self-Care Action Plan

Continuing Education Credits

This program was been approved for 7.5 CLM credit hours, as follows:

  • 2-hour Mental Health First Aid Intro (self-paced): 2 credits
    • CLM App category: Organizational Development
    • No functional specialist credit
    • Recertification category: Communications and Organizational Management (CM)
  • Instructor-led portion: 3.5 credits
    • CLM App category: None
    • Functional Specialist: Human Resources Management
    • Recertification category: Human Resources Management
  • 1 credit:
    • Self-Management
  • 1 credit:
    • Recertification: Substance Abuse

Questions?