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Mental Health First Aid

One in five Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. For friends and family members, it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get them until it is too late.

The adult 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. Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by improving understanding and providing a 5-step action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental illness or substance use disorder.

The goal of the training is to improve 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.

SDCOE is offering adult Mental Health First Aid training to meet the needs of staff. We also encourage school districts to contact us to arrange training specifically for their school teams.


  • Please check back for the 2020-21 schedule