703-383-8500 TTY 711
8221 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive
Fairfax, Virginia 22031
Daryl Washington
Executive Director

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety logoDo you work in law enforcement or another area of public safety and security? Want to better understand mental illness, learn how to help someone experiencing a crisis and possibly save a life?

"Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety" is the class for you!

What is Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Public Safety is an 8-hour training course designed to give public safety personnel key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training helps participants better understand mental illnesses and provides various options for responding to mental health-related calls appropriately by deescalating incidents without compromising safety.

The Wellness, Health Promotion & Prevention staff of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board is training our County government workforce and our community members in Mental Health First Aid.

Ready to take a class?

  • Request a customized group course.

Course Content

Developing mental health problems covered:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Traumatic events
  • Psychosis
  • Substance abuse

Mental health crises covered:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Panic attacks
  • Severe psychotic episodes
  • Effects from substance and alcohol use
  • Aggressive behavior

Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of these mental health problems, where and how to get help and what sort of help has been shown by research to be effective.

MHFA Outcomes

Individuals trained in the program:

  • Increase their knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illnesses and addictions.
  • Better understand the impact mental illnesses have on a person, their family, and communities.
  • Learn how to de-escalate crises.
  • Find out how to connect people to care and resources in the community.

Got more questions about MHFA for Public Safety?

Read the Frequently Asked Questions about Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety, email CSBMHFA@fairfaxcounty.gov, or call 703-559-3000.


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 or to request this information in an alternate format, call 703-538-3215, TTY 711. Please allow two weeks’ notice to arrange ADA accommodations.


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