Mental Health First Aid

What Is It?

Mental Health First Aid teaches individuals how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. The 8-hour training provides the skills needed to reach out and give initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to appropriate care. Hinton Rural Life Center  has three certified trainers on staff for teaching both the adult and youth (for adults who work with youth) curriculum. After the Hinton Centers Quality of Life Study in 2016, one of the areas that showed a gap was mental health services. Hinton Center was able to secure grant funding to have staff trained. We have used it to train people in the community and even to train our college student summer staffers. One of the main components of MHFA is to destigmatize mental health problems; therefore, encouraging more people to seek help.

Mental Health First Aid Training  was identified by the quality of life study that was conducted in 2016 as an action, that when combined with other actions in our community, that has a reasonable chance of making a difference in giving our community the the needed resources to destigmatize mental health. This is a ongaoing program in our community.

The priority population/customers for mental health first aid are listed below. MHFA training aims to make a difference at the individual/ interpersonal level along with the potential for organization change. 

  • Employers
  • Police officers
  • Hospital staff
  • First responders
  • Faith leaders
  • Community members
  • Caring individuals     
  • Teachers
  • School staff
  • Coaches
  • Youth group leaders
  • Parents
  • People who work with youth

What does it cover?

Adult Training - Common signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance use; How to interact with a person in a crisis; How to connect the person with help; How to administer naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose.

Youth Training (for adults who work with youth) - Common signs and symptoms of substance use and mental illness in this age group, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and ADHD; How to interact with an adolescent in crisis; How to connect an adolescent with help.

The course teaches 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.


The partners for Mental Health First Aid include:




Hinton Rural Life Center  

Lead and Support



Tri-County Community College  

Collaborate and Represent Target Population

Schools   Collaborate and Represent Target Population



Work Plan

Initial funding for MHFA Training – was AARP grant. (Two staff trained as instructors)

2nd grant – Evergreen – (1 staff fully trained and 1st two got add on certificates for youth and opiates/substance use 2018/2019

  • 118 people in Clay County Trained

3rd grant provided money for clergy and lay leaders to get trained – WNCC Grant 2019 scheduling classes are in process for 2019/2020

Ongoing training for community members

Evaluation & Sustainability

Evaluation Plan:

We plan to evaluate the impact of mental health first aid training through the use of Results-Based AccountabilityTM to monitor specific performance measures. We will be monitoring How Much, How Well and/or Better Off Performance Measures.   Mental Health First Aid  supplies the evaluation forms that every participant completes. Hinton tracks the number of participants, who is trained, what the participants do, and why they are taking the training. 

Sustainability Plan:

The following is our sustainability plan for [insert program type]: 

  • Sustainability Component:
    • Funded by an outside agency with a nominal fee to participants
    • Increasing community awareness on the issue and demonstrating the value of the program to the public.
Current Actual Value
Current Target Value
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Dec 2020
Nov 2020
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