Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program offered by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board that can help communities understand mental illnesses, seek timely intervention, and save lives.
About 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. in a given year has a diagnosable mental illness. Symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect – and even when friends and family can tell that something is wrong, they may not know how to help.
Mental Health First Aid:
- Introduces to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems,
- Builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and
- Most importantly, teaches how to help someone who is in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.
Our certified instructors teach four versions of the program throughout Fairfax County and cities of Fairfax and Falls Church:
- Mental Health First Aid (Adult)
- Primeros Auxilios para Salud Mental (PASM)
- Youth Mental Health First Aid (for adults who live or work with adolescents)
- Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety (for police and others who work in public safety roles)
In addition to courses that are available for individual enrollment, you can also request a customized group Mental Health First Aid course.
There is a $25 materials fee for these two-day courses. Fairfax County government employees attend free of charge.
More about Mental Health First Aid
- Frequently asked questions
- Materials / Fliers
Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, participants gain concrete tools and answers to key questions like "What can I do?" and "Where can someone find help?" and a core five-step action plan to support someone developing signs and symptoms of mental illness or in an emotional crisis.
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request. For information, call 703-383-8430, TTY 711. Please allow two weeks’ notice to arrange ADA accommodations. To request this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-7000.