Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues.

If you would like to have your organization, school or group be taught Mental Health First Aid, please contact Christine Somervill at the National Alliance on Mental Health | Cook County North Suburban at:

Christine Somervill, Ph.D.
Director of Programs
Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor
NAMI Cook County North Suburban
8324 Skokie Blvd. Skokie, Il. 60077
christine.somervill@namiccns.org
(847) 716-2252
 

4 Reasons to Become a Mental Health First Aider

  • Be Prepared When a mental health crisis happens, know what to do
  • You Can Help People with mental illnesses often suffer alone
  • Mental illnesses are common 1 in 5 adults in any given year
  • You Care – Be there for a friend, family member, or colleague

What You Learn

Risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems.
Information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and addiction disorders.
A 5-step action plan to help someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis.
Where to turn for help — professional, peer, and self-help resources.

Mental Health First Aid Course Format

Activities

You learn by getting involved with the material and relating what you learn to real-life applications. Discussion topics, exercises, and other activities keep you engaged in the course and give you an opportunity to practice helping skills.

Environment

One or two certified instructors lead each course and follow a national curriculum and teaching standards while emphasizing hope for recovery. Classes usually consist of 30 people or less are offered in a respectful, comfortable environment.

The adult Mental Health First Aid course is appropriate for anyone age 18 and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health-related crisis or problem. The adult course is available in both English and Spanish.

Adult Course

adult
The adult Mental Health First Aid course is appropriate for anyone age 18 and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. The adult course is available in both English and Spanish.

 

Youth Course

youth
The youth Mental Health First Aid course is primarily intended for adults to learn how to help young people experiencing mental health challenges or crises. It reviews the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents ages 12-18 and emphasizes the importance of early intervention.

 

What You Learn

The training teaches you how to:

  • Teach the Mental Health First Aid course, including the 5-step ALGEE Action Plan, evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies and prevalence data.
  • Present the program with fidelity to the tested core model.
  • Apply the program to a range of adult learning styles.
  • Tailor presentations to diverse audiences and learning environments.
  • Module-specific courses include population-focused information.

Dual Certification in the Adult and Youth Curriculum

If you want to teach both Youth and Adult courses, you must first be a certified Instructor for either Youth or Adult training and teach at least one course in your core curriculum. You can then apply to become certified in the second curriculum. Once accepted, you can attend an in-person or remote 3-day Instructor training.

Course Format

Activities

You learn by getting involved with the material and relating what you learn to real-life applications. Discussion topics, exercises, and other activities keep you engaged in the course and give you an opportunity to practice helping skills.

Environment

One or two certified instructors lead each course and follow a national curriculum and teaching standards, while emphasizing hope for recovery. Classes usually consist of 30 people or less are offered in a respectful, comfortable environment.