Educative Program:

First Aid in Mental Health: The Academy of First Aid in Mental Health provides participants with the skills they need to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Attendees participate in an 8-hour course and take a written exam that must pass with 70 points or more. Upon compliance with these requirements, they receive a three-year National Council for Mental Wellbeing certification. Graduates will be prepared to provide emergency mental health assistance for professional help. The course is not intended to replace mental health professionals.


The course has helped in emergency situations professionals from different fields such as:

  •  Religious leaders
  •  Business leaders
  •  School staff
  •  Agents of order and correction
  •  Citizens concerned about mental health in their communities
  •  Nurses and other primary care and emergency personnel
  •  Relatives of people with mental health problems or psychoactive substance abuse

What our rescuers say about the course:

  • “Excellent tools to help so many people who today might face different situations and not know how to handle them properly“. —  Director of Human Resources
  • “A very good course. You learn and you can put it into practice with so many people who really need it”. — Teacher
  • “In my entire professional career I had never received training on feeding disorders; this has allowed me to assist a lot of patients”. —  Physician
  • “Of so many seminars and workshops I've attended, this has been an incredibly educational and excellent one”. —Nurse

 The First Aid Course helps:

  •  Controlling crises
  •  Promoting knowledge about mental health
  •  Combating stigmas about mental illness
  •  Facilitate early intervention by identifying signs and symptoms
  •  Connecting people to caregivers that require mental health

Join our network of rescuers

  •  What are mental health first aid?
    First Aid in Mental Health is a training course designed to provide
    participants with skills to help an individual who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The course helps participants identify, understand, and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness.
  • How long does the First Aid course in Mental Health last?
    It lasts 8 hours and is held as a one-day seminar.
  •  What do First Aid participants learn in Mental Health?
    Takers can help people who experience a mental health crisis -- for example, thinking about suicide. The goal is to keep the person stable until proper professional help arrives. First Aid in Mental Health teaches lifeguards a particular 5-step strategy that includes risk assessment, listening to and supporting the person in crisis, identifying the right professional, and other supports. Participants learn about risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems. They know about the impact of the disease on individuals and families, treatment, support resources and self-help strategies.
  • What types of crisis interventions are covered?
    Participants learn how to apply the 5-step strategy in a variety of
    situations, such as a panic attack, people with suicidal thoughts, or individuals with a drug or alcohol overdose. An important component of First Aid training in Mental Health is the opportunity to practice the intervention strategy. This simple experience can make it easier to effectively apply knowledge in real life.
  • Where did First Aid begin in Mental Health?
    First Aid in Mental Health was created in Australia in 2001 by Professor Tony Jorm, a respected professor of mental health education, and Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education. The program is sponsored by the ORYGEN Research Centre at the University of
    Melbourne, Australia. (
  • Who should take the First Aid course in Mental Health?
    The course is aimed at a variety of audiences: friends and family of people with mental illness or addiction; key professionals (such as police officers, human resources directors and staff and primary care personnel); education system staff and university leadership; faith communities, and anyone interested in learning more about mental illness and addiction.
  • Is there evidence to support the effectiveness of the program?
    Yes, solid scientific evidence is why the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare adopted this program in 2008. Five studies published in Australia show that the program saves lives; improves the mental health of the person who offers the help and the person who receives it; increases awareness of mental illnesses and their treatments; increases the services provided and reduces negative stigma, improving knowledge about mental health. A study of 301 randomly assigned participants found that those who trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing aid to others; increased likelihood of advising people to seek professional help; better concordance with health professionals about treatments; and fewer negative attitudes. Unexpectedly, the study also found that First Aid in Mental Health improved the mental health of the participants themselves.