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.
Mental Health First Aid is now virtual. The overall course is eight (8) hours, which includes two (2) hours of self-paced pre-work and six (6) hours live virtual training. Available courses:
- Mental Health First Aid (Adult)
- Youth Mental Health First Aid (for adults who live or work with adolescents)
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 courses. Fairfax County government employees attend free of charge.
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.
The following courses are currently not available in person due to COVID-19: Mental Health First Aid for Higher Ed, Adult Mental Health First Aid in Spanish, and Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety. When these courses are available again, details will be posted here.