Mental Health First Aid

This program is provided FREE in partnership with the ADAMH Board of Franklin County and Mental Health America of Franklin County

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 non-judgmentally
  • 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.

Four individual classes will be offered to the public free of charge. Each date offered (either full-day or two half-days) is a complete class, not a series. Upon completion of the day’s training, graduates will receive certification. Please note: this course is designed for the general public and not for mental health professionals. To register, simply select the date you’re interested in below. Continental breakfast and lunch are included on full day classes. Half day classes only include breakfast.


ADAMH Board of Franklin County
447 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Select the date you are interested in to register

October 24, 2017 (Public Safety specific course**, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., lunch included)

Trainings scheduled for September 20October 3 & 4, and November 14 are full, please select a date above, or complete this form to be added to our waiting list or to sign up for notification of when registration opens for our 2018 schedule.


*Online registration for all classes closes two business days prior to each class. Please call Maureen at 614-221-1441 to register after that time.

**If you are signing up for Mental Health First Aid with a focus on Public Safety, the program contains the same curriculum as the other dates, but with added information designed for persons working/volunteering in public safety. Appropriate audiences include: Law Enforcement Officers, Corrections, Fire/EMS, Private Security, Dispatchers, Legal/Justice/Pre-Trial, Probation and Parole, Reentry/Employment, Behavioral Health Staff, Non-profit Staff, Faith-based Staff, Peer Support Specialists, Local, State, or Federal Government Staff.

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