Mental Health First Aid

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. 

This is a first aid class on mental illness; it is not for individuals with mental health knowledge or experience. The class is recommended for front line staff, administration workers, bus drivers, teachers, interested individuals, parents, shop keepers, coaches, etc.

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).

In January 2013, President Obama recommended training for teachers in Mental Health First Aid. The core Mental Health First Aid course has been successfully offered to more than 100,000 people across the USA

NAMI Indiana is offering two course types:


Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8 hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents such as;
school staff, 
youth group leaders, 

This course is also being tested for appropriateness within older adolescent groups (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. , including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.


NAMI Indiana is offering Mental Health First Aid. This introductory class is appropriate for the general public that would like to know more information about mental illness, early intervention and what to do in a crisis. If you work with the public, this class could be helpful to you.