Mental Health Academy

Mental Health First Aid USA (MHFA)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. MHFA offers continuing education credits including Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) credits which are required for many first responders.  The overall aims of MHFA are to: (1) Preserve life when a person may be a danger to self or others; (2) Provide help to prevent the problem from becoming more serious; (3) Promote and enhance recovery, and; (4) Provide comfort and support. (Modules include; Adult, Youth, Teen, Public Safety_

The Mental Health Academy is a training program to educate non-mental health professionals to better understand mental illness/addictions and provide effective response options for de-escalation. The MHA program offers Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention and Outreach Wellness Learning (OWL) seminars which is a curriculum of common research-based mood and anxiety disorders to community members, Faith-Based leaders, first responders, veterans and their families.

The purpose of the MHA program is to increase mental health literacy for non-mental health professionals to support individuals with behavioral health challenges in their community and support coordination of services.  Mental health literacy is knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid in recognition, management, and/or prevention of mental illness.  The program strives for the following goals:

  • Goal 1: Increase mental health literacy for first responders, Faith-based organizations and families of veterans to support individuals with behavioral health challenges.
  • Goal 2: Improve coordination and utilization of resources, mental health treatment and supports in communities.
  • Goal 3: Implement mental health awareness campaign to address stigma and increase access to supports and treatment.

Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention is a brief educational program designed to teach gatekeepers-those who are strategically positioned to recognize and refer someone at risk of suicide (e.g., parents, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, caseworkers, police officers)–the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to respond by following three steps:

  • Question the individual’s desire or intent regarding suicide
  • Persuade the person to seek and accept help
  • Refer the person to appropriate resources.

The 75 minute training is delivered by certified instructors in person and it covers (1) the epidemiology of suicide and current statistics, as well as myths and misconceptions about suicide and suicide prevention; (2) general warning signs of suicide; and (3) the three target gatekeeper skills (i.e., question, persuade, refer).

Outreach Wellness Learning (OWL) seminars are 60 minutes of learning for common mood and anxiety disorders and support strategies with information from National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Seminars include signs and symptoms of suicide, trauma informed care, diagnosis specific (depression, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders, etc.).  Participants will also learn motivational interviewing techniques and mindfulness strategies to help de-escalate individuals who are symptomatic.

Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk (AMSR)  offers one-day and half-day trainings in the latest research-informed suicide risk assessment and risk formulation designed for health and behavioral health care professionals working in a variety of settings. AMSR’s research-informed risk formulation model helps health and behavioral health professionals feel confident navigating challenging conversations and offers key strategies for providing compassionate care to people at risk for suicide. Authorized expert trainers lead half-day and one-day AMSR trainings, teaching professionals essential skills through videos, live demonstrations, and paired and written practice.

All of our trainings could be offered through a virtual or in-person delivery