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Mental Health First Aid

About MHFA

Similar to First Aid and CPR for medical emergencies, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trains participants to identify and respond with a 5-step action plan to potential mental illness or substance use disorders until appropriate professional help can arrive. 

Training participants to recognize risk factors and warning signs through experiential activities can minimize the impact of mental health challenges on our communities.

Youth MHFA

Youth MHFA is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help a young person who is experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge or is in crisis. It is primarily designed for adult participants who regularly interact with young people, and participants must be 18 years or older to take the course. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical 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, suicide, self-harm eating disorders and more.

Adult MHFA

Adult MHFA is a public education program designed for anyone who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. Mental Health First Aid gives participants practical skills in risk assessment, referral to services, de-escalation, and having conversations about mental health and substance use. Course participants come from a variety of backgrounds and play various roles in their community. Anyone can attend MHFA training as long as they are 18 or older. 

Topics covered include: depression, suicide, anxiety, panic attacks, psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, eating disorders, self-harm, and more.

Earn Your Certification

Completion of each 8-hour course earns participants Mental Health First Aider certification (valid for three years) through the National Council on Mental Wellbeing. Certification is ideal for professionals such as educators, social service providers, organizations dealing directly with the public, and community members interested in learning more. 

Upcoming Community Courses

To keep up with upcoming MHFA events, click here

Mental Health First Aid – Youth (In-Person)
Friday, September 22, 2023
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: 401 E University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601

To register for Mental Health First Aid – Youth, please click here

Mental Health First Aid – Adult (Virtual)
Friday, October 27, 2023
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

To register for Mental Health First Aid – Adult, please click here

Narcan Prevention

Narcan nasal spray became FDA-approved on March 29, 2023, as an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine without the need for a prescription. Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray is an over-the-counter medicine used to treat an opioid overdose emergency, by rapidly reversing the opioid’s effects. Narcan should be given as soon as possible when an opioid overdose is suspected, and then the patient should also receive emergency medical care immediately, even if they wake up. 
Find Naloxone – I Save Florida 
To schedule a Narcan training or pick up, contact Maddie Adkins at 352-374-5600 x 8652 or


Email Madeline Adkins at to schedule Mental Health First Aid training for your team today.

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Disclaimer: The content included on Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. social media pages and website is not intended to provide medical or mental health advice and should not be taken or used as medical or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any issues or questions you may have regarding any medical or mental health condition or treatment.

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