Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety is an eight-hour course specially designed for police officers, first responders, corrections officers and other public safety professionals, helping them better understand mental illnesses and addictions and providing them with effective response options to deescalate incidents without compromising safety. Approximately 10,000 public safety professionals have taken the original Mental Health First Aid course.
Information on Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety
- Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety: Fact Sheet with Q&As
- National Council press release: Congressional Briefing on Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety
Information on Mental Health First Aid Act (S. 153/H.R. 274)
The Senate version of the Mental Health First Aid Act (S. 274) was introduced by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Begich (D-AK) on January 24, 2013. It currently has 18 bipartisan cosponsors (click to view a list). The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
The House version of the Mental Health First Aid Act (H.R. 274) was introduced by Representatives Ron Barber (D-AZ-2) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-2) on January 18, 2013. It currently has 82 bipartisan cosponsors (click to view a list). The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee – Subcommittee on Health.
With support from Republican and Democratic legislators in both chambers of Congress, the Fiscal Year 2014 budget included a $15 million appropriation for Mental Health First Aid training grants. The National Council thanks Congress for its support of this important initiative and encourages lawmakers to expand available training opportunities by passing the Mental Health First Aid Act.
- Mental Health First Aid Act (S. 153 / H.R. 274): One-page fact sheet and cosponsor list (current as of July 1, 2014)
July 16 Congressional Briefing: Statements and Photos
July 16, 2014, the National Council holds two briefings for congressional staff on Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety. The briefings are sponsored by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Begich (D-AK) and Representatives Ron Barber (D-AZ) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS).
- Testimony of Captain Joseph Coffey, Warwick Rhode Island Police Department
- Testimony of Michael Dooley, Director of Training Services, PA Department of Corrections
- Testimony of David Johnson, CEO, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Lawrence Kansas
- Testimony of Ret. Sgt. Jim Kirk, Tucson, Arizona Police Department
- Testimony of Nancy Nowell, Vice President for Clinical Services, West Central Behavioral Health, Lebanon, New Hampshire
- Testimony of Jill Ramsey, Training Coordinator, University of Alaska
For more information on Mental Health First Aid, please visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.
For press inquiries, please contact Heather Cobb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about Mental Health First Aid legislation, please contact Chuck Ingoglia at email@example.com.