Mental Health First Aid at Carleton

The Office of Health Promotion sponsors MHFA training each term. We utilize the “Higher Education” module provided by the National Council on Behavioral Health, which allows us to explore the unique issues facing college students.

Specific additions to the general MHFA curriculum include:

  • Statistics on college student mental illness prevalence
  • Information about Carleton-specific resources
  • Discussion about the implications of the emergence of signs and symptoms of a mental illness in the residential college setting

Upcoming opportunities:

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack — we’d start CPR, or at the very least call 9-1-1. But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack or if we were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of alcoholism.

Mental Health First Aid certification must be renewed every three years. The course covers risk/protective factors and warning signs for mental health problems, prevalence data, stigma, assessment, intervention, connecting individuals in crisis with appropriate care, as well as evidence-based professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem.

Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by improving understanding and providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental illness or substance use disorder. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

Topics covered include:

  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma
  • Psychosis
  • Substance use disorders