Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety
Organization(s): Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (VDCJS)
Mar 26, 2019
Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8-hour course that teaches a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources, and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, and self-help care. The course teaches the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and, most importantly, teaches individuals how to help someone in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety provides officers with more response options to help them deescalate incidents and better understand mental illnesses so they can respond to mental health related calls appropriately without compromising safety. Approximately 20,000 public safety professionals have taken the course, including at police academies in Philadelphia, DC, Seattle, and numerous smaller and rural departments.