Health Department Seeks Mental Health First Aid Instructors

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For Immediate Release
Date: January 8, 2019
Contact: Brian Louie
(847) 377-8356

Health Department Seeks Mental Health First Aid Instructors

Waukegan, Ill. — The Lake County Health Department is hosting a week-long class to train approved instructors to teach adult Mental Health First Aid courses. The 5-day training will be held February 18-22, 2019 at the Lake County Health Department, 3010 Grand Ave., Waukegan.

“More than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime,” said Mark Pfister, the Health Department’s Executive Director. “This initiative to train and certify individuals to help someone experiencing a mental health crisis is not only timely, but necessary to meet the rising demand in our community.”

Approved instructors learn how to teach the adult Mental Health First Aid course, including the five-step action plan, evidence-supported treatment, and self-help strategies. The training normally costs $2,000 per person but is being offered for free to qualified applicants. In exchange, individuals who take the course agree to teach three 8-hour Mental Health First Aid classes in 2019. Those interested in applying should email or visit for more information. All applications are due January 14, 2019.

To be considered for certification, candidates must possess empathy towards individuals with behavioral health challenges and should have enthusiasm to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Applicants should also have:

  • A general knowledge of mental health and substance use issues
  • Experience teaching groups of adults
  • Understanding of best practices in adult learning
  • Experience facilitating groups

In October 2018, the Health Department received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help expand and improve Lake County’s Mental Health First Aid training initiatives. Through the grant, the Health Department will train 30 individuals per year to become instructors. In turn, those individuals will train 2,250 community members over a three-year period.

About the Mental Health First Aid USA: Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it helps trainees identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.


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Lake County Health Department
3010 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
(847) 377-8000