Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour interactive certification course designed to lower stigma surrounding mental illness by increasing ones skill in helping a person cope with a mental health crisis. It gives primary care providers, educators, businesses, and others in the public a tool and a resource to help overcome fear of a mental health crisis. Fear is generally the root of most stigmas. The stigma surrounding mental illnesses in the United States is no different: fear of not understanding the problem, fear of doing or saying the “wrong” thing and fear of not knowing what to do when someone needs help.

The course was developed in 2000 by Betty Kitchener and Professor Tony Jorm with the aim to improve the mental health literacy of Australians, it is now auspiced by ORYGEN Research Centre at the University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry. The training program has since been replicated in six countries, including Scotland, Great Britain and Canada.

Last year the National Council has adapted this well-researched Australian program for the American public. And as of January 2008, the United States has been added to this list of other countries and Seminole Behavioral Healthcare was one out of seven agencies to be apart of this inaugural group training.

As a National Council member, Seminole Behavioral Healthcare was chosen to represent the state of Florida in leading and managing the certification program. The National Council’s vision is that by the year 2025, Mental Health First Aid certification will be as common and as well-known as CPR and other first aid certifications.

To be apart of this vision, please contact Julie Emmer to request further information via email on our upcoming scheduled trainings or call by phone at (407) 831-2411 extension 1206.

Feel free to check out the following websites for more information about the Mental Health First Aid initiative in the United States, Florida and abroad.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare

Florida Council for Community Mental Health

Australia Mental Health First Aid