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Everything You Need To Know About Teen MHFA

Create a safe and supportive environment for teens and teach them how to support a friend or peer by getting them certified in teen Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

Adolescence is a time of critical change and development, and the time when mental health challenges may first emerge. In fact, 1 in 5 teens in the United States will experience a mental health challenge by the time they are 18, and those challenges may be the cause of falling grades, problems with close relationships and substance use. Research shows that teens prefer talking about challenges with their peers.

Take comfort in knowing that your teens will be prepared to provide support for their peers — and get assistance from a trusted adult — as well as better cope with their own mental wellbeing challenges.

teen MHFA was brought to the United States by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in partnership with Born This Way Foundation and is tailored to the unique experiences and needs of teenagers ages 14-18 or in grades 9-12. Its plain language ensures learners at all reading levels can easily follow along.

There are three ways to teach and learn tMHFA.

  • In-person – Lessons are conducted in person in six 45-minute sessions or three 90-minute sessions.
  • Blended – Teens complete a self-paced online lesson, then participate in six live, Instructor-led sessions. These Instructor-led sessions can be:
    • Video conferences.
    • In-person classes.

Get Started: Become a teen MHFA Site

Any school, youth-serving organization or organization in partnership with a school that wants to bring teen MHFA training to teens at their site can apply to become a teen MHFA Site. Schools and organizations must be accepted to teach teen MHFA.

If you are interested in bringing teen MHFA to teens in your community, complete this form to get in touch with a member of our team to learn more about the requirements and begin your application.

The National Council for Mental Wellbeing requires that adults who teach the teen MHFA program to teens attend a teen MHFA Instructor training to be certified in the curriculum. Only approved teen MHFA sites can enroll selected adults in a teen MHFA Instructor training to become certified to teach teen MHFA in person or online. teen MHFA Instructor trainings are held throughout the calendar year.

Parental Involvement

We provide teen MHFA sites with resources to inform parents and guardians about the program, and they can reach out to someone at your school or organization if they have additional questions or concerns. They also have the opportunity to opt their child out of taking the teen MHFA course.

In addition, an important component of the teen MHFA program is encouraging teens to reach out to a parent or trusted adult. To support those adults, we encourage sites to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid training — our course for adults who work with youth — before the teen MHFA course begins or concurrently with the teen MHFA course to increase trust and understanding between teens and trusted adults, such as parents/caregivers.


Parents, guardians and caregivers are encouraged to help bring teen MHFA to their community. Use these resources to advocate for teen MHFA at your teens’ school or youth-serving organization:

Ready To Bring tMHFA to Teens in Your Community?

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