Disability, General, Guest Bloggers

Mental Health First Aid Can Help Us All

May 18, 2023 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: May 19, 2023

Three young adult women taking a selfie in a forest during a hike, close upThe COVID-19 pandemic brought more than lockdowns, isolation, and severe illness – it also caused depression, anxiety, and other mental challenges in people of all ages. A study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found 46% of adults age 65 and older felt their mental health was negatively affected by pandemic-related worries.

Even as we navigate the “new normal,” the mental health repercussions of the pandemic persist. People need support – and learning about mental wellbeing is the first step.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a course administered by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. It teaches you how to identify, understand, and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges. You can learn how to reach out and provide help and support to someone who may be experiencing these challenges. MHFA centers around the MHFA Action Plan, a 5-step approach to deliver safe and effective support to those in need. It factors in each person’s unique identity, experiences, and challenges.

The National Council has created MHFA courses to serve various demographic groups, including adults and youth. Courses include:

  • Adult MHFA, which teaches adults how to recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in other adults ages 18 and older. It also shows how to offer and provide help and how to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary. Topics include anxiety, depression, and substance use challenges. Community-specific courses are tailored to the unique needs of groups such as Spanish-speaking communities, older adults, higher education, fire and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) professionals, the military, and rural communities.
  • Youth MHFA, which teaches parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12 to 18) who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.
  • Teen MHFA, which teaches teens ages 15 to 18 how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges in their friends and peers. Teens can learn how to have supportive conversations with their friends and how to get help from a responsible and trusted adult.
  • MHFA at Work, which focuses on the work environment and teaches learners how to notice and support an individual who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge in a work environment. It also shows how to connect them with appropriate employee and community resources.

You can help us destigmatize mental health issues and prioritize mental health. Find a MHFA course near you and be the difference your community needs.

Social Security has helped Americans navigate tough times through its benefits and programs. If your mental health challenges are so severe that you’re unable to work, you may qualify for disability benefits. To learn more, please review Social Security’s Disability Benefits page.

Please share this information with friends and family who need it – and post it on social media.

Our posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-Social Security organization, author, or webpages.

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  1. Brian T.

    I appreciate the valuable insights you shared in this article. COVID-19 altered the course of several sectors and people’s expectations for the future; it also had a serious effect on online enterprises like translation firms like movasmart.com. slope

  2. Paula

    How does one go about finding MHFA help in my area, as recommended in the article? My life and my physical surroundings have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, and I have no clue how to get started in getting myself back to normal!

    • Kerry L.

      That would be pretty awesome

  3. lj

    I am enlightened by your blog on Covid and mental health. Yes. Thousands of people have been affected by Covid.
    Myself included.
    Thank you for even wanting to help with Covid, mental health and long term effects. If a person has underlying conditions getting Covid can be a nightmare. Mine was cancer.
    Thank you for concerns for Social Security, etc to help those who are not making it financially or health conditions. I am one of those people. I need help.

    • Robert

      My Covid struck as I was in third month of mourning the loss of significant other. Devastating years of repeated quarantine followed. Therapists were booked four months out for treatment. I continue the need for affordable help.

  4. lori c.

    our mental health dr’s here in middle tn make it where i don’t even want to see one before the pandemic with covid mental health realeised personal documentation on the internet and messed up many many people in middle Tennessee for unemployment benifets and other payments that couldn’t be received because discrintal employee’s realeised private information about individuals some it effected more than other’s but things like this make people even scared to go to meantal health for help because of fear of being effected and affected by these types of incidents i know from my own experience as well as many others that were hit by the centerstone security data breach. covid only added stress

  5. Melissa

    Like they did in the Bay Area – my former coworkers and distant Filipino relatives have screwed my relationship up with my psychiatrist. Their policies say timely access to care (10 days for mental health) but it’s been almost a month and they haven’t been able to connect me to a new provider for ADHD medication management. Instead they’ve tried to refer me to 3 substance abuse psychiatrists (not at all what I need or asked for) one for depression, one out of business and one that does group therapy. I’m a hate crime victim and my privacy is extremely important and I’ve never heard of group therapy for ADHD medication management. This is through CenCal in Santa Barbara but this is the same BS Partnership/Beacon Health Options put me through in the Bay Area. They are causing me serious financial hardship and mental distress.

  6. Denys M.

    Thank you for such useful information you provided in the article. COVID-19 impacted many industries and significantly changed the plans for the future life, additionally it has had a real impact on digital businesses, like translation agencies movasmart.com etc.

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    methstreams is a website where we can watch live streaming of different events such as UFC fights, NBA matches, NFL games.

  8. Sharon

    Tell govt to step up they are the ones causing some of the mental health problems . They need to set up a lot more mental health services..

    • Marc P.

      They can only do that if they collect enough money via taxation of the wealthy. Everyone demands more services from the government but nobody wants to pay taxes. Get a cluster- it’s tax money that the government relies on to fund all the services everyone needs and expects.

  9. Tiffani Z.

    How do we share this unless we just copy & paste on to various social media platforms?

  10. Emmanuel D.

    Hola yo soy Emmanuel Dervil, yo tengo 2 hijos y también soy casado por la ley, yo quiero vivir en Estados Unidos con mi familia ,mi esposo es licenciada de enfermería y yo también soy especialista de barrio ramos, camarero, bathender, cocinero básico, corredor de comida , sommeriel, … también soy plomero normal y electricidad residencial. Por favor necesito ayuda 🙏 😭

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