The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program is a groundbreaking free program that trains participants to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders and learn a 5-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Since it’s inception, over 1400 individuals have been certified in MHFA … “We’ve trained everyone from teenagers, law enforcement, parents, teachers to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health and learn appropriate ways on how to connect someone to help,” says former coordinator, Lauren Getuiza.

In October 2013, ODE partnered with the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) to begin offering Youth MHFA in schools, successfully training 917 individuals during 51 trainings countywide. At 6 month follow up, more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents reported having been in a situation at least once since their participation in the course, in which YMHFA was relevant. And of these:

  • 97% report that they applied YMHFA
  • 91% report that they felt they were effective in applying YMHFA

Enjoy this short video clip and visit ODE’s Community Education webpage to learn more about the Adult and Youth MHFA and other Community Education programs.

Once a week I am sharing BHRS Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) prevention programs through a series of short video clips created by the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA), funded by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). Check out our previous blog posts and come back next week for Special Feature #5 – The Health Ambassador Program!