Mental Health First Aid – Adult

Mental Health First Aid for Adults teaches people how to recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in adults ages 18 and older, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary.

Intended Outcomes:

  • Addresses common mental health concerns encountered by adults.
  • Teaches strategies for family members, friends and peers to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health or substance use challenges and offer support.

Continuum of Care:
Universal Prevention

Topic Areas:
Anxiety, Behavioral Health/Mental Health, Depression, Substance Use, Suicide, Trauma

Adult (25+), Young Adult (19-24)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Any, Community-Based, Congregate Care Facility, School-Based, Virtual

Cultural Considerations:
A balanced amount of the research involved diverse populations

Adults 18+

There are no minimum qualifications for adults to teach the program. However, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing requires that adults who teach the program need to attend a MHFA Instructor training to be certified in the curriculum.


Is Training Required?
Yes, see developer info

Who can provide the required training?
Find a course near you today, or email to schedule a special training for your organization, company or group.

Program Costs (materials, training, etc.):
Yes, refer to program website

Program/Practice Website:

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research:

Jorm, A. F., Kitchener, B. A., Fischer, J., & Cvetovski, S. (2010). Mental health first aid training by e-learning: a randomized controlled trial.

Kelly, C. M., Mithen, J. M., Fischer, J. A., Kitchener, B. A., Jorm, A. F., Lowe, A., & Scanlan, C. (2011) International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 5(4).

Morgan, A. J., Ross, A., & Reavley, N. J. (2018). Systematic review and meta-analysis of mental health first aid training: effects on knowledge, stigma, and helping behavior. PLOS.

Additional Sources:

Well-Supported by Research

WV Rating:
Well-Supported by Research
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

There have been several RCT's and quasi-experimental studies conducted looking at Mental Health First Aid-Adult, as well as a recent meta-analysis in 2018. Results from these studies and the meta-analysis demonstrate positive improvements in mental health first aid knowledge, recognition of mental disorders, and beliefs about effective treatments. In addition, reduction of stigma related to mental health disorders has been found in these studies and the meta-analysis. Trainings in Mental Health First Aid have been conducted with different populations, including first-responders, nursing students, and teachers. The training also has been translated to multiple languages.

Contraindications or Concerns:
None identified

Other Registries/Ratings

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare:
Not On Registry

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development:
Not On Registry

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness:

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Model Programs Guide:
Not On Registry

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Not On Registry