Mental Health First Aid for Texas Public Libraries

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. This training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care. MHFA can save a life, just like CPR can help save someone who is having a heart attack.

Why is MHFA important?

Mental illness is common. Approximately 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 50% of mental health issues can be identified by age 14.

Who should take MHFA?

Anyone who wants to help someone in crisis. Texas library staff can make a difference in the lives of library patrons and coworkers by taking MHFA. Those who regularly interact with adults should take Mental Health First Aid for Adults. Those who regularly interact with youth should take Youth Mental Health First Aid. Those who regularly interact with both groups are encouraged to take both classes.

What will you learn by taking MHFA?

  • Mental Health First Aid for Adults teaches people how to recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in adults ages 18 and older, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions. Note: this training has been recently updated to include expanded content on trauma, addiction and self care.
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach adults (age 18 or older) how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. Note: this training has been recently updated to include expanded content on trauma, addiction and self care and the impact of social media and bullying.

At this time the Texas State Library and Archives Commission does not have specially planned Mental Health First Aid courses for Texas library staff. Texas library workers who are interested in this training should contact their local mental health authority or reach out to Patrick Lloyd, Community Resilience Consultant or Naomi DiTullio, Online Learning Consultant.

Page last modified: February 17, 2022