Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidence-based early intervention public education program. It teaches adults how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen non-judgmentally and give reassurance to a person who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services. When you use the skills you learn in MHFA, you are are the first line of support for a person in need. You are there to help them feel less distressed, and you can be a vital source in helping them to seek further assistance. Your body language, what you say, and how well you listen can have a powerful impact. The quality and type of support you offer through listening can enhance coping and self esteem. With an accurate view of mental health challenges and using a strengths-based holistic perspective, you can help others to help themselves. You can also be an advocate, empower your community, and improve self-care. As a Mental Health First Aider, you can be the one to make a difference in the life of someone with a mental health challenge. Your actions can be a first step in someone's recovery journey.
The Virtual Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Course focuses on recognizing the patterns of thoughts, feelings, behaviors and appearance that show there might be a mental health challenge. Participants are taught an Action Plan that they apply to non-crisis and crisis situations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
• Describe the purpose of Mental Health First Aid and the role of the Mental Health First Aider.
• Identify the impact of mental health challenges on the well-being of adults in the U.S.
• Explain that recovery from a mental health challenge is possible.
• Describe the principles of safety and privacy for both the Mental Health First Aider and the person receiving first aid.
• Explain the 5 steps of the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan (ALGEE).
• Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health challenges that may impact adults.
• Evaluate the impact of early intervention on mental health challenges.
• Apply the appropriate steps of the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan (ALGEE) when a person shows early signs of a mental health challenge; worsening signs of a mental health challenge; and to crisis situations.
• Chose appropriate methods for self-care following the application of Mental Health First Aid in a crisis or non-crisis situation.
What to Expect:
The virtual Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Adults takes approximately 8.5 hours to complete, including 2 hours of self-paced pre-work and a 6.5 hour instructor-led virtual class via zoom. Once registered, participants will receive a customized link to the Mental Health First Aid Learning Management System (LMS), which will enable access to all required pre-work, the Mental Health First Aid manual, and the Participant Processing Guide needed for the instructor-led portion.
Please note: Attendees are required to complete 2 hours of self-paced pre-work at least 48 hours in advance of the class date, or they will not be eligible to take the instructor-led portion of the course. Please note that while this course is currently being offered without cost, class capacity is limited to 10. All registered attendees are expected to complete pre-work on time and attend the instructor-led portion for the entire duration in order to receive MHFA certification.
*This program is open to Care Compass Network partners located in our 9-county region (Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins).