Mental Health First Aid Training

Be the Difference. Save a Life.

Sometimes, first aid isn’t a bandage or CPR.

Anyone, anywhere can make a difference in the life of someone with a mental health or substance use challenge – if they know what to do and what to say. This training provides the skills and knowledge to help others in crisis. 

Studies show that each year, more than one in five Americans experience a mental health or substance abuse issue, while only 40% of those affected seek treatment. For friends and family members, it can be hard to know when and how to help. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not receive the help they need.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a national certification managed by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing designed to train members of the community in skills to assist when someone faces a mental health crisis or challenge. Trainees learn risk factors, warning signs, and how to guide someone to helpful resources.

MHFA is an eight-hour, certification training that teaches how to:

  • Recognize the risk factors/warning signs of mental health challenges
  • Understand the importance of early intervention
  • Get the skills and tools to connect with mental health professionals and offer support strategies.

CHA’s MHFA strengthens our community’s capacity to better understand and support those coping with mental health issues. We offer training for employees, community partners and members of the community.

With funding support from SAMHSA, CHA offers training to the communities of Cambridge, Somerville, Everett, Malden, Medford, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop.

Get Trained Today

CHA brings Mental Health First Aid to you. For upcoming training opportunities and more information, click the button below.

Find a Training

Additionally Recognized Programs that Work

Trainings Offered

  • Adult Mental Health First Aid helps community members learn about risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns and gives them skills and strategies to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Available in English and Spanish.
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring adults how to help someone who is developing a mental health or substance use problem or crisis.


  • Virtual Trainings: Include two hours of self-paced, online pre-work and six hours of a live, instructor-led class on Zoom.
  • Blended/In-Person Trainings: Include two hours of self-paced, online prework and six hours of an instructor-lead, in-person class at a location in our communities.

With federal funding support from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), classes are available in-person and through a blended format that combines in-person and online training. Currently, due to the COVID pandemic, classes are held in a virtual format on Zoom. Find out more about the courses in this blog written by project director, Jaime Lederer, MSW, MPH. The National Council for Mental Well Being offers additional details as well.

Are you interested in hosting a training?

Send us an email or call 617-806-8776 if you would like to learn more about our program and bring this training to your organization or community.

Mental Health Ambassadors Program

The Mental Health Ambassador program provides youth with training, education, and opportunities to be community change agents who work to reduce stigma and create a positive perception toward mental health and raising awareness of common mental health issues in the community. Youth earn a stipend for participation, and develop leadership, communication and professional development skills. This program runs during the school year and summer, and and is open to youth that live or go to school in Everett, Malden, Somerville, Cambridge, Medford, Revere, Winthrop, and Chelsea.

Contact Us

Jaime Lederer, MSW, MPH, Project Director

Phone: 617-806-8776


Mental Health Matters

A special event held by 2020 Youth Summer Mental Wellness Interns, hosted by CHA's Community Health Improvement Dept.

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