The Mental Health First Aid Standard training course provides skills and knowledge to help people better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is offered to someone with an emerging mental health or substance use problem or in crisis until appropriate treatment is found or the situation resolves.

Course Objectives

A lack of understanding about mental health or substance use problems leads to fear and negative attitudes toward individuals living with these issues. The stigma around mental health and substance use prevents people from seeking help and providing appropriate support to people around them.

 An evidence-based course, MHFA Standard has been proven to give participants:

  • the tools to recognize signs of decline in mental well-being.
  • the ability to talk about their mental health.
  • the knowledge to discuss professional and other supports that could help with recovery or improved mental well-being.
  • the confidence to reach out to these supports.
  • the tools to assist during a mental health or substance use crisis, and.
  • the knowledge to use MHFA actions to maintain one’s own mental wellness.

Course Details

Mental Health First Aid Standard is a 9 hour course split into three modules:

Course Format

Module 1 (2 hours) Self-directed module that introduces participants to the concepts of the course and Mental Health First Aid actions.

Module 2 (3.5 hours) Live classroom module that discusses tools on how to apply MHFA actions to situations of declining mental well-being and guidelines for MHFA conversations with diverse populations.

Module 3 (3.5 hours) Live classroom module that gives participants the opportunity to practice applying MHFA actions to crisis situations and discusses the importance of self-care.

Method of Instruction

The course opens with a self-directed module (module 1) that focuses on the information and strategies that participants will discuss and practice throughout the virtual classroom modules (Modules 2 and 3).

Course participants are required to complete Module 1 before participating in Module 2 and 3. Module 1 certificates must be emailed to the course instructor 72 hours before the start of Module 2.

Upon registration to the Opening Minds website, participants will have access to the Mental Health Participant Reference Guide. This manual outlines the MHFA actions for developing mental health and substance use problems and mental health and substance use crises.


9 hours total including two hours of self-directed learning followed, approximately two weeks later by modules two and three (3.5 hours each), delivered on the same day.

Group Size

Minimum 8 participants, Maximum 25


Pricing varies with location and number of participants. Please request a quote.


Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor


Participants must be at least 18 years old.

Course Content

Topics include:

Crisis first aid and interventions for:
  • suicidal behaviour
  • panic attacks
  • overdose
  • acute stress reaction and,
  • psychotic episodes
Participants will learn to:
  • assess the risk of suicide and/or harm
  • listen non-judgmentally
  • give reassurance
  • encourage professional and other support
  • self-Care.

Mental Health First Aid does not teach participants to become therapists or counsellors. Rather, it provides the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that allow someone to offer effective first aid intervention.

Participant Materials

  • MHFA Participant Reference Guide (PDF)
  • Participation certificate

Why provide Mental Health First Aid training to your employees?

  • Improve employee morale and retention
  • Lower rates of absenteeism
  • Reduce medical and disability costs
  • Help reduce the stigma around mental health issues
  • Show your employees that you care about them

To save money and have a happier, more productive workforce, get your employees trained in Mental Health First Aid.

Mental Health First Aid Virtual Training for Private Groups

Private group training is easy to organize. Book your class dates with us, provide a group of people and we'll take care of everything else.

Click here to request information and a quote or to schedule a class for your team.

Frequently asked questions about Mental Health First Aid

For general questions about certifications, payments, etc. See our comprehensive FAQ page.

Frequently asked questions about Mental Health First Aid - Virtual

For general questions about certifications, payments, etc. See our comprehensive FAQ page.

Testimonials from Mental Health First Aid course participants

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