I believe every single person can benefit from it, in the same way that the general public can benefit from knowing CPR.

— MHFA Trainer


Click on the date to register:

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021

9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

All webinars are via Zoom

NOTE: After registering, you will receive:

1) Access to a required two-hour self-study program from MHFA to complete at least three days BEFORE the virtual Zoom class.

2) The Zoom link for the class, which will be sent to you separately.


Questions? Contact Julie Helmer at 269-364-6950 or jhelmer@iskzoo.org.


Watch this space for upcoming Youth MHFA trainings!


Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an 8-hour evidence-based program designed to give members of the public key skills necessary to appropriately respond to signs of mental illness.
ISK is proud to offer MHFA training to community members at no charge, thanks to funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).
Learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies to help someone in crisis and where to turn for help.
Watch the video at right to hear from ISK trainers and participants about what MHFA means to them.



We offer several one-day classes per year that are open to the public. Each MHFA class runs from approximately 8am to 5pm. All materials are provided. Lunch is on your own, unless otherwise specified.


We can also come to YOUR organization to provide group training! Just fill out this Training Request Form or contact Julie Helmer at 269-364-6950 or jhelmer@iskzoo.org.


We want everyone to be able to fully participate in training. We can arrange for wheelchair access, visual or hearing assistance, etc. To ensure we can meet your needs, please contact Julie Helmer at least two weeks before the scheduled training.



For anyone age 18 & older who wants to learn how to help an adult experiencing a mental health crisis or substance use problem. Learn More »


Designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. Learn how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. Learn More »


Designed for military members, veterans, their families/friends and those who work with them, this training focuses on military culture and risk factors faced by service members and their families. Learn how to break down stigma, reach out to those who are reluctant to seek help and access community resources for support. Learn More »


Focuses on the unique experiences and needs of college students, campus culture and risk factors faced by those in a higher education setting. A great option for students (must be at least 18), faculty, administrators, resident advisors, coaches and athletic personnel, campus law enforcement, academic advisors, counselors, campus clergy, librarians and more. Learn More »

Who Can Benefit from MHFA?

  • Friends & family of people with mental illness or substance use disorders
  • General public
  • Primary care workers
  • School and college leadership
  • Students
  • Faith communities
  • Professional associations
  • Parent organizations
  • Social & Rotary clubs
  • Community leaders
  • Businesses
  • Police officers and first-responders
  • Veterans/Military Members and Their Families

How Did it Start?

Mental Health First Aid originated in Australia in 2001 and is now international, with programs in countries such as the United Kingdom, China, Canada, Finland, Singapore, and the U.S.  The National Council for Behavioral Health brought Mental Health First Aid to the United States in 2008.

The Council hopes MHFA will become as common as CPR and FIrst Aid training.  Several studies have shown that the evidence-based program:

  • Improves people’s mental health
  • Increases understanding of mental health issues and treatments
  • Connects more people with care
  • Reduces stigma
Two young college students sitting on stairs talking to each other.

I would say I use the training daily. I can apply it to coworkers, friendships, family and interactions with people, and that’s really what Mental Health First Aid helps you do is interact with people.

— MHFA participant

Organizations We’ve Trained

Kalamazoo Valley Community College Nursing Students posing for a photo after taking a Mental Health First Aid Training
Employees from Cheft Therapeutic Riding Center posing for a photo after taking the Mental Health First Aid training.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo

  • Bronson Methodist Hospital

  • Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center

  • Guardian Finance & Advocacy Services

  • Gull Lake Community Schools

  • Kalamazoo College

  • Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department

  • Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home

  • Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety

  • Kalamazoo Public Library

  • Kalamazoo Valley Community College

  • Paramount Charter Academy

  • Recovery Institute of Southwest Michigan

  • Western Michigan University

  • Vicksburg Schools

  • Veteran/Military Organizations


And many more!

We can also come to YOUR organization to provide group training! Just fill out this Training Request Form or contact Julie Helmer at 269-364-6950 or jhelmer@iskzoo.org.


Contact Julie Helmer at jhelmer@iskzoo.org or 269-364-6950.