Just like CPR/First Aid, Mental Health First Aid is available. Click here for more information.

Mental Health First Aid

First Aid and CPR courses offered through the American Red Cross are trainings about which most people have heard and/or participated.  First Aid/CPR training teaches participants how to help someone who is experiencing a physical health issue or crisis, until professional help arrives.

Did you know that the same exists for mental health issues and crises?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) originated in Australia and after the completion of its development, was launched in 2001.  The founders, Betty Kitchener (nurse, special education teacher, mother, and someone who has lived with depression), and her husband, Tony Jorm (psychologist, researcher, and university professor), were struck by the fact that medical first aid trainings existed but there seemed to be nothing similar in terms of mental health.  It was through them that Mental Health First Aid was originated.

Since 2001, the MHFA program has spread to 17 countries and tens of thousands of individuals have become certified in MHFA.

The 8-hour MHFA course teaches people how to give help to individuals developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.  Mental Health First Aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis is resolved.  Participants learn:

  • the signs and symptoms of the most common mental health problems
  • where and when to get help
  • what type of help has been shown to be effective

Mental health problems covered include:

  • depression 
  • anxiety disorders
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • eating disorders
  • attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder
  • substance use disorders
  • self-injury as a symptom
  • crisis situations such as suicidal behaviors, acute stress reaction after a recent trauma, panic attacks, acute psychotic behavior, and drug overdose

Mental Health First Aid training helps to dispel stigmas associated with mental illness and offers hope for recovery to those who may be experiencing a mental illness.

Ozarks Technical Community College is proud to be a partner in bringing Mental Health First Aid to our college community.  Since introduced in 2011, over 150 employees and students have become certified in MHFA.

If you are an employee interested in participating in the next MHFA training opportunity at OTC, please contact Counseling Services at counseling@otc.edu or 417-447-6974.

For students, we are currently offering Mental Health First Aid as a one-credit, 8-week block course (PSY 295).  Please check the class schedule for any sections that may be available.  You may also email us at counseling@otc.edu or 417-447-6974.