Mental Health First Aid

MHALA remains committed to providing Mental Health First Aid to better equip our community to help those in need. Please note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are suspending courses until further notice.

The National Council for Behavioral Health is adapting the Mental Health First Aid curriculum to observe local, state, and federal health advisories related to the pandemic. The new curriculum will include expanded content on trauma, addiction, and self-care, as well as new videos.

We will update this page as soon as new information becomes available.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis.

Just as CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, MHFA helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such as contemplating suicide, until appropriate professional help arrives. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds mental health literacy by helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of symptoms of mental health conditions.

Mental health first aiders learn a 5-step strategy that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help. Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families, and learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.

Training in the Antelope Valley

In partnership with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Fund for Charitable Contributions, MHALA is providing Mental Health First Aid trainings throughout the Greater Antelope Valley. The partnership allows MHALA to reduce the cost of the training from the usual $100 per person to $25 per person. *

The trainings are 8 hours in length, held from 8 AM to 5 PM at MHALA's Antelope Valley Enrichment Services site at 506 W. Jackman Street, Lancaster, CA 93534.

Upon completion of the entire 8-hour course, participants receive a certificate from the National Council on Behavioral Health.

Check back soon for 2022 dates.

For more information, contact Chris Buchanan at 661-430-9107 or

*Training sessions are limited to 30 people. The registration fee is non-refundable and can be transferred to a different training date. Lunch is not included.

Mental Health First Aid students with their certificates