Why Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a skills-based training administered by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, teaches people how to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges in their peers, friends and colleagues.

To help the National Association of Counties (NACo) realize its vision of creating healthy, safe and vibrant counties across America, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and NACo are partnering to offer crucial MHFA trainings to county employees and the communities they serve. The National Council-NACo partnership will support elected officials and county staff, who are asking for help with their own mental health and wellbeing. And, by extension, create a framework for counties to destigmatize mental health and substance use issues as they provide community residents with more equitable access to quality mental health and substance use treatment services.

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What MFA Covers

  • Noticing signs and symptoms of substance use and mental health challenges.
  • Navigating difficult conversations about mental health.
  • Knowing that recovery is possible – and how to support it.
  • Tackling mental health stigma in the workplace.
  • Understanding principles of safety and privacy. Building resilience and strategies to alleviate burnout.
  • Implementing a 5-step MHFA Action Plan.
  • Reinforcing relevant Employee Resource Groups,employee benefits and HR initiatives

Who Should Take It

  • County employees at all levels, including elected officials and county staff across all departments and organizations.
  • Human resources and benefits partners, senior leaders and front-line managers.
  • First responders including law enforcement, corrections officers, fire and EMS services
  • Hospital and nursing home staff
  • School teachers, administrators and youth-serving staff

Sign Up to Receive More Information

To learn more, complete the form to request additional information, visit MentalHealthFirstAid.org or email MHFA_NACo@TheNationalCouncil.org.

Program Contact

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Spencer Taylor

National Program Director, NACo EDGE


Coe, E., Cordina, J., Enomoto, K., Seshan, N. (2021, July 23). Overcoming stigma: three strategies toward better mental health in the workplace. McKinsey Quarterly. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/healthcare-systems-and-services/our-insights/overcoming-stigma-three-strategies-toward-better-mental-health-in-the-workplace

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (n.d.). Mental illness. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness

National Association of Counties. (n.d.) Behavioral health matters to counties. https://www.naco.org/sites/default/files/documents/NACo%20Behavioral%20Health%20Priorities.pdf

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NACo EDGE establishes sustainable, cost-saving and value-added solutions that can be applied to counties nationwide. By providing quality solutions, we strive to develop and maintain healthy, vibrant and safe counties across the United States.

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