Skip to main menu Skip to content

Certification Process

You must be certified by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) USA to teach any Mental Health First Aid course. Applicants to an Adult or Youth MHFA Instructor training course must first hold an active First Aider certification in that curriculum. MHFA Instructor Certification is achieved through 2 hours of self-paced pre-work, a 3-day interactive training and 1 hour of self-paced post-work. Only individuals — not organizations — can receive Instructor certification.

Mental Health First Aid Instructor trainings may be public or private. Large groups (six or more Instructor candidates) can arrange for private, onsite training. Public and private courses provide access to the same training, certification and resources.

teen Mental Health First Aid Instructor Applicants

Before you apply for a teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) Instructor training, your school or youth-serving organization must be an approved tMHFA Site. Individual Instructor candidates are not eligible to apply apart from an approved tMHFA site. If you have a school or organization in mind, please complete the interest form. After the school or organization becomes an approved tMHFA Site, Instructor candidates can apply to attend a 3-day tMHFA Instructor training.

Mental Health First Aid Instructor Applicants – Missouri and Maryland Residents

If you are a resident of Missouri, please visit our state partner’s website to apply for their in-state Instructor trainings. Open only to Missouri residents: Apply for Missouri Instructor Training. If you are a resident of Maryland, please visit their website to apply for their in-state Instructor trainings. Open only to Maryland residents: Apply for Maryland Instructor Training.

About the Instructor Training

The training teaches you how to:

  • Teach the Mental Health First Aid course, including the 5-step ALGEE Action Plan, evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies and prevalence data.
  • Apply the MHFA Instructional Guiding Principles.
  • Utilize MHFA technology, Explain MHFA curriculum concepts.
  • Facilitate MHFA curriculum to fidelity.
  • Explain MHFA Instructor policies and processes.

Instructor Training Format

  • Courses run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day.
  • Participants will complete approximately 2 hours of self-paced pre-work before the first day of in-person or virtual training. If it has been six months or longer since you completed the MHFA training course, we recommend that you watch the MHFA Facilitation Modeling Videos. This will take an additional 6-7 hours. These self-paced assignments can be completed at your leisure prior to the course. You will receive access once you are fully registered for the course.
  • Each Instructor candidate must attend the entire training and teach an assigned portion of the 8-hour course to the group.
  • Each Instructor candidate will provide a peer review for their colleagues.
  • National Trainers will conduct an individual evaluation of and provide feedback to each candidate.
  • Participants will complete approximately 1 hour of post-work after the 3-day in-person or virtual training. Only after all post-work has been completed will the candidate receive full instructor certification and a certificate. Certified Instructors can teach both Blended and In-person MHFA courses.
  • Before you teach your first class, expect to spend up to 40 hours over 90 days in additional self-paced, independent study where you will learn the content, learn the systems (MHFA Connect, Submit-a-Course, MHFA Connect Storefront) and practice your new skills!

Certification is not guaranteed for all participants. To become certified, participants must complete all online course work, be present for the entire training, satisfactorily deliver the presentation and pass an exam.

Dual Certification in the Adult and Youth Curriculum

To become dual certified as an Adult and Youth MHFA Instructor you must hold an active First Aider certification in both curricula and complete both your Adult and Youth Instructor training certification, separately.

Virtual Training IT Requirements

The following technology is required to participate in a virtual Instructor training:

  • Computer: Windows, Apple desktop or laptop computer OR tablet with iOS, Android or Windows. Due to compatibility issues with Zoom we DO NOT recommend using a Chromebook for the live training sessions.
  • Computer microphone and speakers
    • For the best experience, join the course from a tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Joining via the Zoom mobile app is prohibited due to its limited abilities.
    • If your computer does not have a microphone and speakers, you can use the dial-in option from your phone for audio.
  • Internal or external HD webcam
  • Internet connection
    • We recommend an internet connection speed of at least 5 mbps (upload and download). You can test your internet speed at

Training Cost

Please review this table for Instructor training course pricing.

Is your organization a member of the National Council? As part of your membership, we offer discounted pricing. Interested in becoming a member? Learn more.

CourseProgramsDelivery OptionMember or Non MemberPrice*
New Instructor3-day Adult/ YouthIn-Person or VirtualMember$2,000
New Instructor3-day Adult/ YouthIn-person or VirtualNon-Member$2,200
Existing Instructor** Tuition3-day Adult/ YouthIn-person or VirtualMember$1,800
Existing Instructor** Tuition3-day Adult/ YouthIn-person or VirtualNon Member$2,000

*Please note: All state sales tax will be applied at checkout. If you are tax exempt, please submit your FEID number and government issued documentation for processing.
**Existing Instructor course attendees must be certified in one MHFA curriculum type and seeking dual certification in the other (Adult/Youth).

Tuition includes:

  • Instructor-led training presented by our National Trainers
  • Training materials
  • Access to learning management system for pre- and post-work
  • Full suite of Instructor support
    • Access to exclusive webinars and online learning
    • Access to Client Support Team for programmatic questions once certified
    • Technical assistance once certified
    • Professional development opportunities

Payment is not required at the time of application, but it is required to reserve your spot in a training session. Once your application has been accepted, you will register for a course in the MHFA Storefront. At checkout, please be sure to double-check your shipping address, as the Training Materials will automatically be added to your order and sent to you. All Public Instructor Training Course orders require a credit card to checkout. For any questions, please email

Cancellations, Transfer Requests and Refunds:

Cancellation and transfer requests must be submitted in writing. If you would like to transfer to another training, email your request at least 30 days before your scheduled training start date with the location and dates of your new preferred training. We will do our best to accommodate your request. Multiple transfer requests as well as transfers requested within 30 days of the event will be subject to a change fee of $1,000. Transfers requested within two weeks of the event start date will be treated as cancellations.

Cancellations requested within 30 days of the event will be subject to a change fee of $1,000. No refunds will be given if cancellation occurs within two weeks of the event to those who do not receive certification or do not complete the training, and/or who are “no shows” to the training. Any registrant who remains unpaid will be liable for full tuition. Non-attendance does not limit liability.

Bonus Course Content: Support Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma

After receiving your certification as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor or teen Mental Health First Aid Instructor, we’ll enroll you — at no charge — in Strong Resilient Youth: Supporting Children and Youth Experiencing Trauma training. This free course trains educators and supportive adults with the knowledge and skills to support children and youth who have experienced trauma. To learn more, download the Strong Resilient Youth marketing flyer.

Apply for a Training

Other than an active First Aider certification, no specific academic or professional credentials are required for Instructor applicants. However, candidates should have knowledge of or experience with mental health problems (personally, professionally or both), prior experience in training adult learners and a commitment and strategic plan to roll out Mental Health First Aid in the community.

Applications are automatically scored and if successfully completed, you will have the opportunity to self-register in any upcoming training with availability.



Questions about the certification process? Email

Search for courses