Mental Health First Aid - NH Alcohol and other Drug Service


A Collaborative Partnership

NATIONAL COUNCIL for Community Behavioral


Maryland State Department of

Health and Mental Hygiene

Missouri Department of Mental


What Is Mental Health First Aid?

The help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis until professional treatment is received or the crisis resolves.

What You Learn

Overview of mental health problems

 Depressive/Mood disorders

Anxiety disorders

Disorders in which psychosis occurs

Substance use disorders

Eating disorders

Mental Health First Aid for crisis situations

Mental Health First Aid for non-crisis situations

Potential Audiences

Hospitals and health centers


Faith communities


Law enforcement/first responders

Nursing home staff

Consumers, families and caring citizens

Mental health authorities


Program Origins

 Created in Australia in 2001

 Auspiced at the University of Melbourne

 Expanded to 17 countries, including

Scotland, China, Canada, Finland,

Singapore, Ireland, Wales, England,

Cambodia, Japan, South Africa,

Thailand and New Zealand.

 Piloted in the U.S. in 2008

Evidenced Effectiveness

 Four published randomized control trials and a qualitative study (in Australia)

Increases mental health literacy

Expands individuals ’ knowledge of how to help someone in crisis

 Connects individuals to needed services

 Reduces stigma

People Are Saying . . .

 “ I now feel better prepared for what might happen.

Homeless Shelter Volunteer

 “ This info can help a person become more understanding, rather than judgmental, of someone with a mental illness ”

Community Member

People Are Saying . . .

 “ Just weeks after attending the training,

I ’ ve already used the skills I learned in

Mental Health First Aid… ”

Hospital Employee

 “ I think any professionals who deal with people should take this course, especially emergency personnel, teachers, . . .

Employment Services Professional

By the Numbers: 2008-2011

 45,000+ Mental Health First Aiders

 1,800+ instructors certified

 45 states, the District of Columbia and

Puerto Rico


By 2020, Mental

Health First Aid in the USA will be as common as CPR and

First Aid.

How it Works

Training Components

 12-hour community program offered by instructors

 5-day instructor certification training offered by the National Council,

Missouri Department of Mental

Health, and Maryland Department of

Health & Mental Hygiene

 Lets take a look at the 4 sessions.

Program Overview:

Session 1

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health Problems in the United States

Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

 Understanding Depression

 Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

 Suicidal Behavior

 Depressive Symptoms


Session 2

 Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

 Nonsuicidal Self-Injury

 Understanding Anxiety Disorders

 Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

 Panic Attacks

 Traumatic Events

 Anxiety Symptoms


Session 3

Understanding Psychosis

Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

Acute Psychosis

Aggressive Behavior

Psychotic Symptoms

Understanding Substance Use Disorders

Mental Health First Aid Action Plan



Substance Use Disorders

 4

Session 4

 Understanding Eating Disorders

 Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

 Acute Crisis

 Eating Disorder Symptoms

 Using Your Mental Health First Aid Training

 5

What Is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid is the help offered to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis resolves.


Why Mental Health First Aid?

 Mental health problems are common.

 Stigma is associated with mental health problems.

 Many people are not well informed about mental health problems.

 Professional help is not always on hand.

 People often do not know how to respond.

 People with mental health problems often do not seek help.


What Is a Mental Disorder?

A mental disorder or mental illness is a diagnosable illness that:

Affects a person ’ s thinking, emotional state, and behavior

Disrupts the person ’ s ability to


Carry out daily activities

Engage in satisfying relationships


U.S. Adults with a Mental Disorder in

Any One Year

Type of Mental Disorder

Anxiety disorder

Major depressive disorder

Substance use disorder

Bipolar disorder

Eating disorders


Any mental disorder

% Adults

19.1 .

6.8 .

8.0 .


2.1 .

.45 .

19.6 .


The Impact of Mental Illness

 Mental illnesses can be more disabling than many chronic physical illnesses. For example:

The disability from moderate depression is similar to the impact from relapsing multiple sclerosis, severe asthma, or chronic hepatitis B.

The disability from severe post-traumatic stress disorderis comparable to the disability from paraplegia.

 “ Disability ” refers to the amount of disruption a health problem causes to a person ’ s ability to:


Carry out daily activities

Engage in satisfying relationships



Recovery from Mental Illness

“ Recovery is the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities.

“ For some, this is the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life despite a disability.

“ For others, recovery implies the reduction or complete remission of symptoms.


’ s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2003


Spectrum of Mental Health



Mental Health First Aid

A ssess for risk of suicide or harm

L isten nonjudgmentally

G ive reassurance and information

E ncourage self-help and other support strategies

E ncourage appropriate professional help


For More Information