Are You Certified to teach the Public Safety Course?
On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Mental Health First Aid Act (H.R. 1877)—a bill that would authorize $15 million to fund Mental Health First Aid training for critical populations like police officers, teachers, veterans and other first responders.
Police in particular have become the defacto first responders to mental health crises, and the House’s passage of the Mental Health First Aid Act comes at a time when, more than ever, police need the skills to respond safely and responsibly to situations involving people with mental health or substance use problems.
If you aren’t certified to teach the Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety course, now is the time to do so.
Find out how you can add the Public Safety designation to your Instructor profile and train law enforcement and public safety officials in your community.
Mental Health First Aid can change how law enforcement perceives and interacts with people with behavioral health issues.
- Rhode Island began offering Mental Health First Aid training to its police officers in 2008. It has helped officers better identify the signs of mental illness and has improved their knowledge and understanding of mental illnesses.
- In 2013, 50 percent of police-involved shootings in Albuquerque involved people with indications of mental health issues. So far, in 2016 after New Mexico started training officers, the reported number is one.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections trains every staff member in Mental Health First Aid. In addition to affecting day-to-day interactions in the state’s prisons, the program has led to changes in prison policy and culture. Inmates with mental illnesses are no longer placed in solitary confinement, where in 2013, 206 of 288 documented suicide attempts took place.
The need for first responders to get trained in Mental Health First Aid is clear—and Congress is taking notice. Thank you for your dedication to spreading these potentially life-saving skills in your community.
Watch the debate about the Mental Health First Aid Act on the House floor, and learn more about the bill.