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Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid is offered virtually with two hours of pre-work which is self-paced and needs to be completed prior to the six-hour, instructor-lead course via Zoom. Just as CPR training helps a layperson without medical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

The evidence behind Mental Health First Aid demonstrates that it makes people feel more comfortable managing a crisis situation and builds mental health literacy — helping the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness. Specifically, studies found that those who trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing help to others, greater likelihood of advising people to seek professional help, improved concordance with health professionals about treatments, and decreased stigmatizing attitudes.

Mental Health First Aid certification, which must be renewed every three years, provides trainees with:

  • Recognize the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety/trauma, psychosis and psychotic disorders, substance use disorders and self-injury.
  • Use a five-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional help.
  • Apply knowledge of the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem treat and manage the problem and achieve recovery.
  • Recognize and apply appropriate self-care plans for the individual in crisis and for the Mental Health First Aider.

This training is offered free of charge.

If you have any questions, contact Tanya Morgan at tmorgan@som.geisinger.edu.

Upcoming trainings

  • Friday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

New training dates are added as they are scheduled. If the upcoming dates above do not work for your schedule, check this page periodically for other opportunities to join us. If there are no available dates listed, please do not fill out the form below until specific training dates are available to select.