Mental Health First Aid Training

May 27, 2014

By Mike Yamauchi-Gleason 

Similar to traditional First Aid and CPR, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis until professional treatment is obtained or the crisis resolves. CHES staff, in collaboration with members of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), offer free Mental Health First Aid certification classes that are open to the campus community. To date, over 500 students, faculty, and staff have successfully completed the training.

Certification is accomplished by attending a free, 8-hour class conducted by a certified instructor. Participants learn a five-step action plan to help loved ones, colleagues, neighbors, and others to cope with mental health problems.

Porter College and Kresge College pioneered the move towards providing MHFA training to all of their student residential life staff in 2011. Beginning 2014-15, CHES staff in key college positions and all student residential life staff on-campus will be MHFA certified to ensure staff are comfortable and confident in providing assistance to someone with a mental health problem. Although not mandatory, a significant number of the college and departmental academic advisors have also received MHFA training.

“I am very glad that I signed up to take this course! Not only will I use the material learned here at UCSC, but I can also use it in my community.” – Student

“I was able to use the MHFA information to help a family member who was suicidal and needed my support.” – Staff

Contact Mike Yamauchi-Gleason ( to learn more.