Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds an understanding of their impact and overviews appropriate supports. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care. The program also teaches common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia.
Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis ad connect the person with help. First Aiders do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers fundamental questions like, “What do I do?” and, “Where can someone find help?” Certified Mental Health First Aid instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. All trainees receive a program manual to the complement the course material.
Workforce Development at College of Western Idaho (CWI) provides you high-quality, short-term training to boost your job skills, acquire new career skills, and earn the certificates you need. Take as many classes as you want in our short-term, credit free classes with no applications, no transcripts, and no hassle. Just sign up and watch your career take off.
Classes are offered at a variety of locations throughout western Idaho that are taught by knowledgeable professionals with years of experience in the topics they teach.
Why This Program
Mental Health First Aid was introduced in the U.S. in 2008. The course is offered to a variety of audiences, including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities and law enforcement. Approximately 400 people are trained each day with the numbers expected to increase
Mental Health First Aid was included in the President’s plan to reduce gun violence and increase access to mental health services. The Mental Health First Aid Act of 2015 has broad bi-partisan support and would authorize $20 million annually for training the American public. Fifteen states have made Mental Health First Aid a priority by appropriating state funds.
What You Will Learn to Do
- Assess the risk of suicide or harm
- Listen nonjudgmentally
- Give reassurance and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies
The College of Western Idaho’s programs are committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status. More on Title IX
Requirements and Costs
Degrees and Certificates
Certificate of Completion
Navigating your way through college can be confusing, especially if you try to go it alone. CWI One Stop Student Services offers advising assistance, to help in deciding which courses you need to take to complete your educational goals. Visit Advising for more information or contact One Stop Student Services to schedule an appointment.
There are an assortment of scholarship opportunities available if you qualify to help cover some or all of the costs associated with classes offered through CWI Workforce Development. Call us at 208.562.2700 for more information.
CWI Workforce Development offers you multiple payment options to cover the cost of your program. For more information, visit Payment Options
- Healthcare Professional