Mental Health First Aid - University of Houston
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Mental Health First Aid

Similar to physical First Aid and CPR, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a skills-based training that teaches participants how to identify, understand, and respond to someone experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis until professional assistance is obtained or the crisis is resolved. 

MHFA is offered in three formats: virtual, blended, or on-site. Here are considerations to prepare for the blended and virtual learning experience and MHFA certification. 

100% in person - 8 hours (including breaks and 30-minute lunch break) instructor-led training. Minimum (15-30 minutes) pre-work to be completed

100% virtual - mandatory 2 hours of self-paced online learning to be completed, followed by a 6.5-hour (including breaks and 30-minute lunch) instructor-led session via Zoom 

Blended - mandatory 2 hours self-paced online learning to be completed, followed by a 6.5 hour (including breaks and 30-minute lunch) in-person instructor-led session 

Summer 2024 

Click here to register for the 100% virtual training on June 26.

Why should I take the Mental Health First Aid training?

  • Through MHFA, more than 2.6 million people in the U.S. have been trained by over 25,000 certified instructors to identify, understand, and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.
  • Peer-reviewed studies have proven that trained Mental Health First Aiders are more knowledgeable and confident when it comes to identifying and helping an individual in distress.
  • MHFA offers concrete tools and answers key questions, like “what do I do?” and “where can someone find help?”.  First Aiders do not take on the role of professionals- they do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy.

What is ALGEE?

  • A 5-step action plan to recognize warning signs of a mental health or substance use challenge, provide help, and understand where to turn for additional assistance.
    • A- Assess for risk of suicide or harm
    • L- Listen nonjudgmentally
    • G- Give reassurance and information
    • E- Encourage appropriate professional help
    • E- Encourage self-help and other support strategies

What is new in the Mental Health First Aid curriculum?

  • Added instruction on trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) including clear guidance on assessing, responding, and supporting someone immediately after a traumatic event, as well as over the time that follows
  • Importance of self-care to resilience and recovery and development of personalized self-care action plans


Once you are registered for the course, you will receive an e-mail from the MHFA Learning Management System that will instruct you to create an account and access the self-paced course. You will also receive reminders via e-mail to complete the course before the date of the instructor-led portion.

Contact Information

Are you interested in hosting a Mental Health First Aid training specifically for your UH department or organization? Contact Reuben Parrish for details.