Instructor Certification for Mental Health First Aid

In partnership with Highline College and the Allied Health Center of Excellence, AHECWW is pleased to announce an Instructor Certification Course to train up to 15 new Mental Health First Aid Instructors. The three-day instructor course will be held at Highline College in Des Moines, Washington, on June 6 – 8, 2018.

The AHECWW is committed to distributing Mental Health First Aid training more highline college logobroadly in the rural western Washington region. As part of that mission, AHECWW is excited to offer the opportunity for more health professionals to become instructors and increase the number of trainings available in rural areas. Health professionals are invited to apply for participation in the instructor training at a reduced tuition rate of $800 (scroll down for details). The market-rate cost of the training is $1500 per person for those not applying for the reduced rate. In return for the reduced tuition rate, trainers will agree to complete three trainings within one year of the certification date.

Why become an instructor?

Just as CPR helps community members assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In areas without Mental Health First Aid training, fewer community members understand the risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, or strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

Mental Health First Aid is included on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices. Studies show that training in Mental Health First Aid builds confidence in helping an individual experiencing a mental health challenge, reduces negative or distancing attitudes towards individuals with mental illnesses, and increases mental health literacy –being able to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Who should apply to become an instructor?

Becoming a Mental Health First Aid instructor is a rewarding opportunity that requires a serious commitment of time, energy and creativity. Certified instructors are required to have prior experience teaching groups of adults and facilitating groups. Instructors must have knowledge of mental health and substance use issues and an understanding of the Mental Health First Aid program. Successful candidates demonstrate they have the skills to plan, publicize, and facilitate classes, as well as engage partners and find additional resources to support the program. Review the Instructor Application Form pre-application self-assessment for a detailed look at the skills and expectations for instructors.

Only certified Instructors can teach the 8-hour Mental Health First Aid course to the public. The primary role of Instructors is to teach the Mental Health First Aid course with fidelity to the core program model and key messages. Each Instructor is required to teach at least three courses per year, using official materials to help guide them through course facilitation. To teach a course, certified Instructors must order manuals and prepare course materials and resources (available on the Instructor Portal) for all their participants. Upon completion, Instructors must provide participant evaluations to Mental Health First Aid USA. Instructors may team teach the course, or choose to teach on their own.

How to register for the Instructor Certification training:

Complete the Mental Health First Aid Application form by mid May, 2018 and submit it by e-mail to Applications will be reviewed and scored by host instructors at AHECWW and scores will be reviewed by the National Council for Behavioral Health Mental Health First Aid program staff. Applicants will be notified of their status on a rolling basis.

How to apply for reduced rate tuition:

AHECWW in partnership with the region’s Accountable Communities of Health offers an opportunity for health professionals to apply for a reduced tuition rate of $800 for the training. In return for the reduced tuition rate, trainers will agree to complete three trainings within one year of the certification date. The required trainings are to be scheduled at least three months prior to scheduling additional trainings outside of designated rural areas of western Washington. Certified trainers participating at the reduced tuition rate will sign an agreement specifying details of these terms and follow-up steps, including communication with AHECWW via email at to confirm conformance with the agreed-upon training schedule. To apply to be considered for the reduced rate, check the “yes” answer on the related question on page 6 of the application. AHECWW will consider a limited number of sliding-scale scholarships for up to the full tuition amount. Please include a statement describing the need and amount of the scholarship request with your application.