Mental Health First Aid- Teen

teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) is a training program for teens brought to the United States by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in partnership with Born This Way Foundation. It teaches teens in grades 10-12, or ages 15-18, how to identify, understand and respond to signs of a mental health or substance use challenge in their friends and peers. The training gives teens the skills to have supportive conversations with their friends and teaches them how to get help from a responsible and trusted adult.

Adolescence is a time of critical change and development, and the time when mental health challenges may first emerge. Those challenges may be the cause for falling grades, problems with close relationships and substance use. Take comfort knowing that your students will be prepared to provide support for their peers as well as better cope with mental health challenges themselves — and get assistance from a trusted adult.

Last reviewed: 2023

Intended Outcomes:

This program covers the following topics:

  • How to open the conversation about mental health and substance use challenges.
  • Common signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges.
  • The impact of school violence and bullying on mental wellbeing.
  • How to seek the help of a responsible and trusted adult.

Continuum of Care:
Universal Prevention

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

Teen/Adolescent (13-18)

Geographic Locations:
Rural, Urban

Delivery Settings:
Community-Based, School-Based, Virtual

Cultural Considerations:
Limited research found involving diverse populations

Teens in grades 10-12 or ages 15-18. High schools, organizations partnering with a high school, and youth-serving organizations should be the ones to teach the program.

There are no minimum qualifications for adults to teach the tMHFA program. However, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing requires that adults who teach the tMHFA program to teens attend a tMHFA 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:

Hart, L. M., Cropper, P., Morgan, A. J., Kelly, C. M., & Jorm, A. F. (2019). teen Mental Health First Aid as a school-based intervention for improving peer support of adolescents at risk of suicide: Outcomes from a cluster randomised crossover trial. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 54(4), 000486741988545.

Hart, L. M., Morgan, A. J., Rossetto, A., Kelly, C. M., Mackinnon, A., & Jorm, A. F. (2018). Helping adolescents to better support their peers with a mental health problem: A cluster-randomised crossover trial of teen mental health first aid. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 52(7), 638–651.

Ng, S. H., Tan, N. J. H., Luo, Y., Goh, W. S., Ho, R., & Ho, C. S. H. (2020). A Systematic Review of Youth and Teen Mental Health First Aid: Improving Adolescent Mental Health. Journal of Adolescent Health, 69(2).

Wilcox, H. C., Pas, E. T., Murray, S. M., Kahn, G., DeVinney, A., Bhakta, S., Rosenbaum, L., & Hart, L. (2023). Effectiveness of teen Mental Health First Aid in Improving Teen‐to‐Teen Support Among American Adolescents. Journal of School Health.

Additional Sources:

Supported By Research

WV Rating:
Supported by Research
»WV Ratings Info

Rationale for Rating:

Teen Mental Health First Aid universal program is targeted towards the adolescent population with the intention to improve mental health literacy, stigmatizing attitudes, helping intentions, and identifying appropriate sources of help. Reviewed research showed representative populations had statistically significant improvements in most intended outcomes. Studies were primarily conducted in Australia. To move to well-supported category more randomized controlled trials conducted in geographically relevant areas are necessary.

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:
Not On Registry

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

Washington State Institute for Public Policy:
Found on the registry. See link for more information.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy Registry Link: