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Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Learn more.

Mental Health First Aid Act

The Mental Health First Aid Act of 2015 (S. 711/H.R. 1877) authorizes $20 million for Mental Health First Aid. Under this funding, participants would be trained in:

  • Recognizing the symptoms of common mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
  • De-escalating crisis situations safely.
  • Initiating timely referral to mental health and substance abuse resources available in the community.

Training programs under this project would be offered to emergency services personnel, police officers, teachers/school administrators, primary care professionals, students, and others with the goal of improving Americans’ mental health, reducing stigma around mental illness, and helping people who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm and referring them to appropriate treatment. Studies have shown that Mental Health First Aid successfully increases help provided to others and guidance to professional help, and improves concordance with health professionals about treatment.


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The content on this site is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for psychological, medical, legal or other professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. For issues concerning mental health, you are invited to schedule an appointment with Dr. East or her team. S.M.I.L.E. is focused on assisting individuals and families with many challenges from, overcoming everyday stressors, to healing from traumatic events.

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