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Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid Online/Virtual Course
March 23, 2022
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Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour certification course originally designed in Australia. Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. This training has several supplemental courses including youth and adolescents, military and veterans, older adults, Spanish, public safety, and higher education.

Once completed the individual is Nationally Certified as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, either in the youth or the adult curriculum and can teach the 8 hour Mental Health First Aid Class.

More Information on Mental Health First Aid

Research Summary on MHFA Effectiveness

The Mental Wellness Awareness Association has conducted 4 Mental Health First Aid Instructor Trainings. These trainings are provided by the National Council for Behavioral Health and require a 5 day, 8 hours per day attendance.

Health Fairs

We love attending community health fairs! Please let us know if you are looking for vendors at a health or community fair, as we would love to represent prevention, early intervention, scientific research, and cures of mental health problems wherever we are invited.

Past Events/Recognition

The MWAA was selected as one of 25 organizations out of over 50 applicants to serve on the Advisory Committee for the Joint State Government Commission of Pennsylvania's study on Violence Prevention in Pennsylvania as authorized under Senate Resolution 6. After nearly a year of work the report was issued on December 31, 2013 and can be viewed at

WITF: SmartTalk
Theresa Myers, member of NAMI of Cumberland and Perry Counties and Sharon Engdahl, president of The Mental Wellness Awareness Association appeared on WITF's radio program, SmartTalk, with Scott LaMar.
Listen to the entire podcast here.

Adult & Youth Mental Health First Aid
As of January 30, 2016, our MWAA Instructors have trained nearly 1000 people to be Mental Health First Aiders from 33 counties in Pennsylvania and from 3 other states.

"Train the Trainer" Pennsylvania Initiative
In October 2013 the MWAA hosted the National Council on Behavioral Health's Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor Training at the Capital Area Intermediate Unit located in the Harrisburg PA region. The MWAA was successful in having 27 people trained as Youth Mental Health First Aid instructors. Each instructor must do at least 3 YMHFA trainings per year to keep their national certification. What this means is that 27 instructors times 3 trainings/2013-2014 at a minimum will do 81 trainings. Estimating approximately 12 students per training this means nearly 1000 people will be trained as Youth Mental Health First Aiders in just one year.

In 2015 the MWAA held 2 Train the Trainer classes for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. One was at Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA and the other was in Beaver Falls, PA. Thirty eight people were trained to be Adult Mental Health First Aid Instructors.

Villanova University
The MWAA had the opportunity to train 43 public safety and mental health personnel with Villanova University on January 7th and 8th, 2014 in Adult Mental Health First Aid. The Associate Director of Public Safety at Villanova was kind enough to express their gratitude for our services.
Read the Thank you letter from Villanova »
A group of newly trained Military/Veterans Mental Health First Aiders in Scranton, PA
MWAA President Sharon Engdahl runs our display table at a Military MHFA training Scranton, PA
Welcoming 32 New YMHFA Instructors in Harrisburg, PA 2017
MWAA President Sharon Engdahl and Theresa Myers of NAMI of Cumberland/Perry appear on WITF's SmartTalk with Scott Lamar
Instructors Dr. John Bart and Jerry Boggess pose with PA State Representative Steve Barrar during a Military MHFA Training