MHAW A Project of the Association for Mental Health & Wellness

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety

Why Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This 8-hour training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. It focuses on the unique experiences and needs of public safety personnel and is a valuable resource that can make a difference in their lives, their coworkers’ and families’ lives, and the communities they serve.

  • Almost 10% of police calls involved someone with a mental illness.
  • Nearly 1 in 4 police officers think of suicide at some point in life.
  • 1.2 million individuals living with mental illness are in jail and prison each year.

Who should take it?

  • Law enforcement
  • Corrections officers
  • Other first responders
  • 911 dispatch staff

What it covers.

  • Defusing crises.
  • Promoting mental health literacy.
  • Combating stigma of mental illness.
  • Enabling early intervention through recognition of signs and symptoms.
  • Connecting people to care.

“Public safety officers, regardless of rank or position, may find themselves confronted with a mental health crisis. My Mental Health First Aid training helped me save a life, and regular incidents serve as reminders of how public safety officers fall back on their training in times of crisis.”
— Captain Joseph Coffey, Ret., Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy
and Mental Health First Aid National Trainer