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Mental Health First Aid
for Teens

teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) teaches teens in grades 10-12, or ages 15-18, how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among their friends and peers.

teen Mental Health First Aid

teen Mental Health First Aid is a training program for teens brought to the United States by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in partnership with Born This Way Foundation.


Teens will learn the skills they need to have supportive conversations with their friends and how to get help from a responsible and trusted adult. For more info, view the teen MHFA one-pager.


If you are interested in bringing tMHFA to teens in your community, please review our materials and resources to learn more about the requirements and begin your application.

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Ways to Teach and Learn

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Lessons are conducted in person in six 45-minute sessions or three 90-minute sessions.

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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.

Why Mental Health Matters for Teens

1 in 5
teens has had a serious mental health disorder at some point in their life.
1 in 4
adolescents ages 12–17 have had a substance use disorder or a major depressive episode in the past year.
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among adolescents ages 15-19.

How teen Mental Health First Aid Can Help

Course content addresses common mental health challenges in young people.
Understanding reduces stigma.
Teens have an Action Plan to help friends and peers who may be facing a mental health challenge or crisis, such as suicide.
Youth learn how and when to involve a responsible and trusted adult.

Parental Involvement

We provide tMHFA sites with several resources to inform parents and guardians about the program and provide parents and guardians the opportunity to reach out to someone at the school or organization if they have questions or concerns. All parents and guardians have the opportunity to opt their child out of taking the tMHFA course.


In addition, an important component of the tMHFA program is encouraging teens to reach out to parent or trusted adult. For this reason, sites are encouraged to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training — our course for adults who work with youth – before the tMHFA course begins or concurrently with the tMHFA course to create opportunities for increased trust and shared understanding between teens and their parents/caregivers.

Video: Let's Get Real

Learn More

To read more about how Mental Health First Aid is helping critical populations,
check out our case studies , or read our blog and filter by population type.

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