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Why do we need the Mental Health First Aid Act? Each year, more than one in five Americans experiences a mental illness or substance use disorder. Yet, as a society, we remain largely ignorant about the signs and symptoms, and don’t know how to help a person in need. Our lack of awareness often prevents people who need treatment from getting appropriate care. 

While many Americans know how to administer First Aid and seek medical help should they come across a person having a heart attack, few are trained to provide similar help to someone experiencing a mental health or substance-use related crisis. Mental Health First Aid has been shown to increase help-seeking and improve adherence to treatment. Studies have shown that Mental Health First Aid increases help provided to others, increases guidance to professional help, and improves concordance with health professionals about treatment.

 We can all benefit. This bipartisan bill would offer training programs to emergency services personnel, police officers, teachers/school administrators, primary care professionals, and others – with the goal of improving Americans’ mental health and helping people who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm. How is this bill different from the $15 million appropriation for MHFA in 2015? The fiscal year 2015 budget included a $15 million appropriation for Mental Health First Aid. The National Council is grateful to Congress for this support. The Mental Health First Aid Act will help solidify the future of this funding by providing statutory authorization clearly delineating Congressional intent regarding the scope of the program.

Mental Health First Aid Awareness

Service 1

Mental Health First Aid Awarerness

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, our trained and certified professional on the 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.

Service 2

Mental Health First Aid Action Plan

Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that can help individuals across the community to understand mental illnesses, support timely intervention, and save lives. The belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.

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