72nd MDG introduces new Mental Health First Aid program

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

There is a new phenomenon growing in all parts of the country that has recently been adapted by our community, called Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common supports. It is an 8-hour course that uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia.

Similar to CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not take on the role of professionals — they do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions, like “what do I do?” and “where can someone find help?” Certified Mental Health First Aid instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. All trainees receive a program manual to compliment the course material.

Tinker Mental Health First Aid

Tinker’s Helping Agencies have teamed up to offer Mental Health First Aid on the installation. Classes will be held at the Airman & Family Readiness Center, 6001 Arnold Street.

Military and civilians can sign up using the ETMS system. See below for self-enrollment instructions:

Self-Registration Instructions

  • Log in to .myETMS
  • Select the Self Registration tab.
  • Select “View All Classes.”
  • Click on appropriate course - Mental Health First Aid
  • Select appropriate date and time and click Enroll.
  • Fill in the required fields: phone numbers, supervisor and training manger email
  • Click save

For more information or questions about Mental Health First Aid, visit Info@MentalHealthFirstAid.org.