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Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an early intervention public education program that teaches the public how to assist someone experiencing a behavioral health crisis.  MHFA teaches the skills needed to identify, understand, and respond to individuals who may be experiencing signs of a mental illness or substance use disorder.  First Aid is administered to help individuals connect with appropriate care.  The training is especially useful in rural communities where access to mental health services may be limited.  Rural MHFA is a way to build community level capacity to identify mental health and substance use concerns early and for rural residents to increase their confidence to intervene and refer people to the resources that do exist.  MHRA is a way to increase the level of baseline knowledge about emntal health and substance abuse and to decrease the negative perceptions often associated with these disorders.

Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour course that teaches participants about:

  • Risk factors and warning signs for mental health issues
  • Prevalence of various mental health disorders
  • The need to reduce stigma
  • A 5-step action plan to assess a situation, identify appropriate interventions, and help those in need access mental health services
  • Resources available to help people experiencing a mental health issue or problem

More information is available from the Rural Assistance Center online: http://bit.ly/136YxNd

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