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 complement 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

Thank you so much for your interest in attending Mental Health First Aid. At this time, all 2017 classes have reached capacity. Please complete this form to be placed on the waiting list or to receive notification when 2018 classes are open for registration. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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