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Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidence-based training created by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing designed to provide participants with the skills to identify, destigmatize, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorder, enabling those trained to offer immediate, concrete support. 

MHFA has shown to be effective internationally. Peer-reviewed studies show that individuals trained in the program: 

MHFA is not designed to replace the work of mental health professionals. Those who successfully complete the MHFA training will become a certified Mental Health First Aider. Mental Health First Aiders’ professional roles and responsibilities will not change as a result of this training. They are also under no obligation to publicly disclose that they have been trained in MHFA. 

Program Information

Learn about the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training.



  • Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training. 
  • Virtual trainings are two half-day 4-hour trainings. 
  • In-person trainings are one 8-hour day training.


  • 20+ Northwestern staff members are certified Mental Health First Aid Instructors. 
  • There are a minimum of  two instructors present at each training.  


  • You are required to complete 2.5 hours of self-paced online pre-work before attending a training. 
  • To access the pre-work, you must first register for a training. See Registration section below. 


  • There is no cost to the participant.
  • The training is funded by the Office of Human Resources. 


  • The maximum capacity per training is 25. 


  • Participants are required to complete the pre-work before the first day of the training. 
  • Participants will attend the virtual and/or in-person training in its entirety and actively participate. 
  • For virtual trainings, if accessible, participants will have their cameras turned on for the majority of the training. 
  • If special accommodations are needed, contact Well-being. 


  • Upon successfully completing the pre-work, attending the training and completing a post-test and evaluation, you will have access to your Mental Health First Aid certificate. 
  • Certification must be renewed every 3 years.


Mental Health First Aid is offered to faculty and staff.

Registration information
Dates Time Campus Location Register
Tuesday, May 23

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Chicago Wieboldt Hall Register
Wednesday, June 28

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Evanston Rebecca Crown Center Register
Tuesday, August 22

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Evanston Norris Univeristy Center Forthcoming