Know the Signs. Learn the Actions. Be a Lifeline.

Adult Certification
Youth Certification
Public Safely Certification
Veterans Certification
Higher Education Certification

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Philadelphia is one of the first in the U.S. to implement MHFA on a large scale.

Research shows that Mental Health First Aid leads to: 

  • Greater recognition of behavioral health challenges
  • Increased confidence in one’s ability to help
  • Increased amount of help provided
  • Decreased stigmatizing attitudes while promoting inclusion

Group Training Request

Our Certification Programs:

Adult Certification 
The adult Mental Health First Aid course is appropriate for anyone 18 years and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions. The adult course is available in both English and Spanish. Course participants come from a variety of backgrounds and play various roles in a community.  Instructors may specialize in providing the course to groups such as:  Youth, Public Safety, Higher Education, Veterans and Military families.

Register Online

Youth Certification 
Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

Register Online

Public Safety Certification 
This training is  for adults who work in Law Enforcement and Public Safety (law enforcement officers, private security, probation and parole, fire/EMS, corrections, dispatchers, courts, legal, town watch, etc.). 

For a number of reasons, individuals experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders often have more contact with the criminal justice system than the general population does. Thus, the better prepared officers and staff are to respond effectively and appropriately, the more likely the interaction will be a positive one.  Mental Health First Aid offers a tailored supplement which builds upon the effectiveness of the standard Mental Health First Aid curriculum by focusing on the unique experiences and needs of law enforcement, corrections, and public safety audiences.

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety is an eight-hour course specially designed for police officers, first responders, corrections officers and other public safety professionals, helping them to better understand mental illnesses and addictions.  Mental Health First Aid/Public Safety teaches effective response options to deescalate incidents without compromising safety.

Register Online

Veterans Certification 
Mental Health First Aid for Veterans is an eight-hour course specially designed for veterans, family members of veterans, and personnel working with the military and families who want to learn how to help a veteran who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem  Family members and personnel working with military and families are often not aware of how to engage veterans with mental illnesses and addictions. In addition to the impact of military service on the veteran, each has a circle of family (significant other, children, parents, siblings, etc.) and friends who are also impacted by their military service.  Mental Health First Aid is a valuable resource that can make a difference in the lives of the more than 22 million veterans, their families, and the communities they live in.

Register Online

Higher Education Certification 
Mental illnesses and substance use challenges often present during adolescence and young adulthood, when many individuals are students at colleges and universities. College and university faculty, staff, families and students can learn how to help each other within a framework of their unique culture and set of resources. Mental Health First Aid offers a tailored supplement which builds upon the effectiveness of the standard Mental Health First Aid curriculum by focusing on higher education settings. This supplement is intended to blend with the existing 8-houradult / “core” MHFA course and is not appropriate for use with the youth MHFA curriculum. 

Coming Soon

Interested in becoming a Mental Health First Aid Instructor? We're now accepting applications!
Here's some helpful information and forms required upon submitting an application to become an instructor. 

  • Pre-Asessment and Reference document: Please fill out the Pre-Assessment document to determine your readiness to become a Philadelphia MHFA Instructor.  This document is for your purpose only and should not be returned to the Philadelphia MHFA unit.

    Please print out and give a copy of the Reference document to the individuals who will be writing a letter of reference on your behalf.  This document does not serve as your letter, it is to be used a guide only.  All letters of reference can be faxed to 215-599-5204 (Attn: Shemiah Cooper), emailed to or mailed to DBHIDS/MHFA 123 S. Broad St. 22nd flr. Phila., PA 19109

  • Instructor AgreementSigning the MHFA Instructor Agreement acknowledges that you have read and will fully abide by the terms described within.  If you are applying as an agent of your organization, a supervisor’s signature is required.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Need more information, please read the MHFA FAQs.

To apply for the summer 2015 Training of Instructors (TIO), click the box below.

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