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Free Mental Health First Aid & Mental Health Awareness Trainings

Free Mental Health First Aid & Mental Health Awareness Trainings

Over the last three years, community stakeholders from Chicago’s west and south side participated in evidence-based free mental health training sessions with a goal of reducing the stigma of mental health and addiction, increasing awareness and knowledge, and providing information about resources available in the community. Since the beginning of 2017, over 2,200 stakeholders have been trained. Training evaluations, provided by UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work, found that participants walk away from trainings with:

  • Decreased stigma associated with mental health and addiction;
  • Increased knowledge of mental health;
  • Increased self-confidence in taking actions to help someone in need; and,
  • Increased knowledge and comfortability in recognizing how and when to contact a specially trained police officer in a mental health crisis.

To read more about the project, research and outcomes on Chicago’s west side in 2017, CLICK HERE.

To read more about the project on Chicago’s south side in 2018, CLICK HERE.

A 2019 project fact sheet is in the works! 

In 2020, we have the opportunity of continuing the work throughout the entire City of Chicago! Free training is available to all Chicagoans as a part of the Mental Health Public Awareness Initiative.

Mental Health First Aid Trainings

*We provide Adult MHFA (Adults working with adults) and Youth (Adults working with youth) MHFA. Please specify in the comment section which you are interested in.*

This 8-hour training provides proven practices that will help you recognize the early signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorder. You will learn how to listen without judgement, and respond to and help someone in distress until they can get the professional care they may need.

All training participants receive a three-year certification in Mental Health First Aid.

<<Register for a Mental Health First Aid Training>>

Mental Health Awareness Trainings

This 2.5 hour training helps participants identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, reduce stigma, understand recovery and treatment, and how to help during a mental health crisis.

All training participants receive a certificate of completion in Mental Health Awareness.

<<Register for a Mental Health Awareness Training>>

Additional Resources

  • Crisis Intervention Team Resource Card: CLICK
  • Smart 911: CLICK
  • South Side Resource Card: CLICK
  • NAMI Chicago Help Line: 833-NAMI-CHI (Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm; Saturday, 9am-5pm)
  • Crisis Text Line: text CONNECT to 741741 (24/7 text message support for those in crisis) 
  • National Suicide Prevention Line:1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Good Morning My name is Irma Chavez and I am the Program Director for the Outreach Community Program for Family Rescue. Family Rescue exist to break the cycle of Domestic Violence and to help the victims find their voice. It is one of the largest and most diversified domestic violence agencies in Illinois providing the following services:
    Safe Shelter & Housing Counseling & Case Management
    Economic Recovery Child & Youth Services
    Support Groups Education & Prevention
    Advocacy. Life-skills Development

    We would like to have this training for our staff. Please let me know what is needed for this training to take place.

    You can reach me at 773-375-6863 Ext. 506 or my email


    Irma Chavez

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