Free Mental Health First Aid Instructor Certification Training

 People who live and work in San Mateo County are invited and strongly encouraged to participate in a free training to become certified instructors in Mental Health First Aid.

The training will take place over five days from September 10 to 14, and participants must attend all five days to be certified. Training will be conducted by members of the Mental Health First Aid USA national office.

Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour course that gives individuals with little to no clinical training key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Participants will be taught how to apply a 5-step strategy in a variety of situations, such as helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, or assisting an individual who has overdosed.

The training is funded by the Mental Health Services Act. It is free and space is limited. An application must be completed and approved in order to attend the training.

WHEN: Monday through Friday, September 10-14, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Specific training locations will be sent to each participant once his or her application is approved.

WHO: Trainers are from the Mental Health First Aid USA national office. The training is sponsored by San Mateo County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Office of Diversity and Equity.

WHY: Research shows that Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) participants gain a better understanding of mental health disorders and treatments, and are more confident in providing help to others. MHFA has increased access to help for people with mental illness, and has led to more people seeking professional help in the community. There is also evidence that MHFA can improve the mental health of people who are trained, and can help change negative attitudes towards people with mental health issues, and reduce stigma surrounding mental illness.

RSVP: To request an application, contact Karen Macasa at or call (650) 573-2541.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robyn Thaw: or (650) 573-3935.

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