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.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A health leadership team led by the Mississippi State University Extension Service has received a national award for its work to address mental health challenges in the state’s agricultural community.
Directors of the PROMISE Initiative will receive the Southern Distinguished Team award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, during the organization’s annual national conference in October. PROMISE stands for “PReventing Opioid Misuse in the SouthEast.” Epsilon Sigma Phi is a nationwide organization for Extension professionals.
When confronted with the need to change or adapt to life’s circumstances, people cope with the resulting stress in many ways. David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the domino effect of multiple changes caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic may result in trauma.
“Usually trauma is a major life event that leads to intense stress reactions,” Buys said. “But we are seeing so many changes in such a short time it’s a struggle to manage our feelings and thoughts without falling into anxiety and depression.”
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is doing what it can to make sure everyone in the state’s agricultural community knows there is help available when the stress of life seems unrelenting.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The teen years have challenged every generation, but resources and concerned adults are available to help today’s young people avoid dangers, including suicide.
Most Mississippians think of drug addiction as an issue other people face in faraway places, but the source of this problem could be as close as the family medicine cabinet.
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.