Mental Health First Aid USA
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.
Mental Health First Aid is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National
Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).
Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis:
- Assess for risk of suicide or harm
- Listen nonjudgmentally
- Give reassurance and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies
Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not take on the role of professionals — they do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions, like “what do I do?” and “where can someone find help?” Certified Mental Health First Aid instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. All trainees receive a program manual to compliment the course material.
Join the movement!
Sometimes first aid isn’t a bandage, or CPR or calling 911.
Sometime, first aid is YOU.
A person you know could be experiencing a mental health or substance use problem.
Learn an action plan to help.
You are more likely to encounter someone in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack. Learn how to help a friend, family member, coworker or neighbor in need. Get trained in Mental Health First Aid.
Take a course. Save a life.
Strengthen your community.
For more information, visit
Event contact at BSDC Senior Services: Angel Venegas – (718) 453-0685, Ext. 311