Over the past several years, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board's Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention team has offered Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses to our community. MHFA provides education about the warning signs and symptoms of various mental health concerns including psychosis, suicidality, substance use, depression, and anxiety. MHFA helps people learn the tools needed to assist someone in distress and to encourage appropriate help and support.
In response to COVID-19, MHFA is now virtual. With updated content and information on trauma and self-care, virtual MHFA participants will continue to learn how to identify, understand, and respond to someone struggling with a mental health concern or misusing substances. The Youth MHFA version includes updated material for adults working with school age children on issues of social media, trauma and bullying. The content is gender neutral and culturally relevant.
Marla Zometsky, Manager of CSB's Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention team, says, "No one is immune to mental health concerns. The MHFA training helps to change the discussion around mental health and challenges the stigma associated with mental health which often stops people from getting help."
Previous MHFA participant Sandra shared with us, "The course greatly helped me to understand how to talk to someone who is exhibiting signs of a possible mental health crisis. Prior to taking this course, I was very uncomfortable discussing these types of issues with anyone."
Advance registration and online pre-work is required prior to attending the virtual courses. Participants will complete a 2-hour, self-paced module, and then participate in a 6.5-hour instructor-led virtual Zoom class (including breaks). The cost to attend is $25 and each course is limited to 20 participants.
To kick off this new offering, the registration fee is waived for the Tuesday, January 12 MHFA training. Sign up now.
For questions about MHFA, email CSB's Mental Health First Aid team.
Contact for news media inquiries: Lisa Flowers, Communications Director, 571-474-5435 (cell) or 703-324-7006 (office).