Since 2015, 20 states have made Mental Health First Aid a priority by enacting policies that allocate funding for trainings, require certification standards for public sector employees and establish statewide mental health training programs and mandates.
Read the Mental Health First Aid Policy Handbook for more information.
Learn what you can do to take action in your state and what strategies get the attention of policymakers and other community stakeholders with the Mental Health First Aid Advocacy Resource Guide.
The FY 2014 budget provided $15 million for a new grant program to provide Mental Health First Aid training as a part of President Obama’s Now is the Time initiative. This program funded training for teachers and other individuals who work with students to help schools and communities understand, recognize and respond to signs of mental illness or substance use in children.
In 2015, the President renewed his commitment to Mental Health First Aid and Congress enacted another $15 million for FY 2015 . In addition to the enactment of the $15 million request in the President’s 2015 budget, the proposal in his 2016 budget is to continue the $15 million appropriation while adding a new $4 million line item for Veterans Mental Health First Aid.
In his report, Now Is the Time: The President’s Plan to Protect our Children and our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence, President Obama calls for Mental Health First Aid training to help teachers and school staff recognize the signs of mental health disorders in young people and find them appropriate care.