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Mental Health First Aid


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.

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.

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 an 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.

(Describe the workshop audience) This course is designed for adults who want to learn how to respond to mental health crisis, increase their adult mental health literacy  and including social workers, administrators, teachers, nurses, counselors, coaches, secretaries, registrars, lunch staff, bus drivers, and leaders of faith communities, law enforcement, and other caring citizens.

This workshop is typically offered at SDCOE two times each year, generally in the Fall & Winter months.

Please click on one of the following workshop dates for more information:

  • TBD

We also encourage school districts to contact us to arrange training specifically for their school teams.



Mara Madrigal-Weiss                                                                        Heather Nemour
Coordinator                                                                                       Project Specialist
858-292-3569                                                                                    858-569-5489                                                                    

For registration information please contact
Amanda Holt
Student Mental Health and Well-Being