Mental Health First Aid Training – By Kristy Beard, Ainsworth Program Director



During the week of February 7-12, Region 4 Behavioral Health System gave myself along with 4 other people from the Region 4 Service Area an amazing opportunity to travel to San Antonio Texas to participate in and become certified instructors for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

The Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training Course began by participants spending the first two days taking the 8 hour course. During the next three days each of the participants were then given a section of the MHFA course to present in front of the group and graded by an instructor, we also had to successfully complete and pass a test to graduate from the MHFA course and to become certified instructors.

The MHFA Program first began in 2001 in Australia and came to the United States in 2008, at the present time MHFA is in 21 countries throughout the world. MHFA is the initial help given to someone experiencing a mental health problem before appropriate treatment and support are obtained, this may be for a crisis situation or it may be for when a person is developing a mental illness. The purpose of the MHFA course is to teach participants how to recognize the symptoms of mental health problems, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide the individual to seek professional help if needed.   An aim of the MHFA course is to increase mental health literacy and to decrease the stigma that is associated with mental health problems.

For more information on Mental Health First Aid please contact me at 402-382-5676 or contact Region 4 Behavioral Health System at 877-432-6071.