Mental Health First Aid


MarylandROTA is providing Adult Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid courses.

Adult Mental Health First Aid:

Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The curriculum will include information on opioid issues and provide a list of local resources on opioid misuse and the prevention and treatment of opioid use disorders. The goal of implementing this evidence-based program is to provide members of the community with the tools to help reduce opiate use disorders and opioid-related overdose and deaths.

Youth Mental Health First Aid:

This course is designed to teach parents, family members, care givers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (ages 12-18) who is experiencing mental health or addictions challenges or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

Reasons to become a mental health first aider

Be prepared

When a mental health crisis happens, know what to do

You can help

People with mental illnesses often suffer alone

Mental illnesses are common

1 in 5 adults in any given year

You care

Be there for a friend, family member, or colleague

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Blended Virtual Course available now!

The Adult and Youth MHFA Virtual Course is made up of two parts:

MHFA Self-Paced Introduction

The first portion of the course is to be completed through the self-paced online portion (accessible through the MHFA Learning Management System). This portion of the course should be completed two business days prior to the start of the MHFA Skills application portion.

MHFA Skills Application

The second portion of the course is taught virtually by a certified MHFA instructor and focuses on how to apply MHFA skills.

Training Format

  • 2-hour independent online learning followed by a 4-hour virtual workshop.
  • Registration is done via Zoom. Please visit our calendar for more information.
  • Once registered you will be enrolled in the online system and receive instructions and login credentials prompting you to complete the self-paced portion prior to attending the workshop.
  • Self-paced portion of the course must be completed to be admitted into the workshops.

Interested in this program?

Mental Health First Aid Training Information

This 8-hour training will give you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental illness or substance use disorder and help connect them to appropriate care.

Who Should Take it

  • System-wide University of Maryland Extention educators
  • Agriculture professionals
  • Community health professionals
  • Community leaders and volunteers

What it Covers

  • Common risk factors, signs, and symptoms of mental illness.
  • Common risk factors, signs, and symptoms of substance use.
  • Information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders, including opiate use disorders.
  • How to interact with a person in crisis.
  • How to connect the person with help, including professional, peer, and self-help resources

What You'll Learn

The course will teach you how to apply the ALGEE action plan:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Target Audience

Middle school children in the following counties:

Western Maryland:
Allegany, Garrett, Washington

Upper Eastern Shore:
Cecil, Hartford, Kent, Queen Anne's

Middle/Lower Eastern Shore:
Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset,Talbot, Wicomico, Worcester

Interested in the course?

Course Format


Attendees will discuss various topics related to substance use and mental health, and participate in exercises and other activities. This training will also provide participants with the opportunity to practice helping skills and learn real-life applications.


Each course will be led by one or two certified instructors who will follow national curriculum and teaching standards. Classes will consist of 30 people or less and will be offered in a respectful, comfortable environment.

Train the Trainer Training

This 5-day training gives you what you need to deliver the 8-hour Mental Health First Aid training. The Mental Health First Aid training teaches participants how to recognize and respond to a mental health concern or crisis and connect the person to appropriate care if needed.

Who should take This?

  • Extension educators
  • Teachers & School Staff
  • Community Workers

What You Will Learn

Instructors are on the frontlines of the program and train people in their communities in Mental Health First Aid. Certified instructors are required to teach the course at least three times per year.


In this 5-day training you will be familiarized with the Mental Health First Aid course and receive in-depth instruction on facilitating the curriculum. The training includes a written exam and evaluates each candidate’s ability to present the Mental Health First Aid course to a variety of audiences. You can become certified to teach the adult or youth curriculum, or both.

Reasons to Beomce a Mental health First Aid instructor


Bring your community together


Reduce negative attitudes about mental illnesses


Build mental health literacy


Show others how they can help

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