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PROMISE Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an 8-hour training course designed to give people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

What do people learn in a Mental Health First Aid course?

Just like CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, MHFA training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives.

MHFA teaches a single 5-step action plan that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other support.

Trainees are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, and they engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families. The course shares evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.

What topics are covered?

MHFA covers depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders.

MHFA trainees will also learn the 5-step action plan to respond to a variety of situations, such as helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, or assisting an individual who has overdosed.

How many participants are needed in order to have the training?

MHFA trainings should have at least 5 participants registered for the course and should not exceed 30 participants.

Does the Mental Health First Aid training have to be completed in one day?

No. If you do not wish to complete a 1-day training, we recommend splitting the 8-hour course into two 4-hour training periods.

Trainings can be arranged to best suit the schedule of the instructors or participants; however, participants MUST complete the full 8 hours of training to receive the certification.

How do I schedule a Mental Health First Aid training course?

Please contact Mary Nelson Robertson by email or by phone at 662-325-4447 for more information or to schedule a course.

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Publications

News

Man in a maroon shirt and baseball cap in a greenhouse.
Filed Under: Agriculture, AIM for CHangE, Mental Health First Aid July 22, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Jim McAdory wears many hats. On any given day, the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent fields calls from local cattle farmers, teaches kids about the importance of daily nutrition, and tests soil to diagnose front yard and garden harvest problems -- all before lunch.

Based in Winston County, McAdory recently gained an additional role: Mental Health First Aid instructor.

A tractor parked outside of a shed at night.
Filed Under: The PROMISE Initiative June 24, 2021
By Erica Hensley
For the MSU Extension Service

Colby Hardin managed his depression since he was diagnosed at 18. With medication, he kept it under control throughout college, while working at Mississippi State University's dairy farm.

Flood waters surround a home in the south Delta.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Rural Health June 7, 2021

To some people, farming is an idyllic way of life, but producers face some unique stressors that can impact their well-being. In fact, a national poll by the American Farm Bureau Federation in 2019 confirmed that about two in five farmers and farm workers reported experiencing increased stress levels and more mental health challenges since 2014.

Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Farm Stress May 11, 2021

The Mississippi State University Extension Service PROMISE Initiative has two upcoming sessions in a webinar series that addresses farm stress, mental health and social structural issues affecting farmers and ranchers. The webinars will be held May 18 and June 15 at noon CST. They are part of the ongoing “R is for Rural and Resilient” series that began in November 2020.

Two workers walk behind a red tractor in a field.
Filed Under: Agriculture, Farm Safety, The PROMISE Initiative April 15, 2021

Planting season is underway and with it comes the transportation of heavy equipment along Mississippi’s roadways.
Drivers can help support local agricultural producers and their $7.4 billion contribution to the state’s economy by staying alert while sharing the road with planters, tillers and tractor-mounted sprayer

Success Stories

A woman wearing a blue collared jacket stands in the fruit aisle of a grocery store.
Peanuts, Irrigation, Equine, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs, The PROMISE Initiative, Nutrition, EFNEP
Volume 5 Number 2

In this "What's New in Extension," Extension agents implement better safety standards, train to deliver Mental Health First Aid, and receive national recognition. Also, new irrigation and specialists join the Extension family.

Select Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. David Buys
Associate Professor
State Health Specialist
Portrait of Dr. Mary Nelson Robertson
Extension Specialist I