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Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an evidence-based training created by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing designed to provide participants with the skills to identify, destigmatize, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorder, enabling those trained to offer immediate, concrete support.

MHFA has shown to be effective internationally. Peer-reviewed studies show that individuals trained in the program:

MHFA is not designed to replace the work of mental health professionals. Those who successfully complete the MHFA training will become a certified Mental Health First Aider. Mental Health First Aiders’ professional roles and responsibilities will not change as a result of this training. They are also under no obligation to publicly disclose that they have been trained in MHFA.

Program Information

Learn about the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training.


  • Virtual MHFA is a 7 hour, 2 half day training.
  • In-person MHFA is 7.5 hour, 1 day training.


The below Northwestern staff are certified Mental Health First Aid Instructors and are qualified to host MHFA trainings. There are two instructors present at each training.

  • Stephanie Brehm, Assistant Director for Academic Development, The Graduate School
  • Lauren-Ashley Buchanan, Associate Director, Student Life, Graduate School Administration
  • Eric Budzynski, Associate Director, Religious & Spiritual Life & Chapel Music
  • Samantha Conway, Assistant Director, Mental Health Promotion, Health Promotion & Wellness
  • Evelyn Cordero, Well-being Specialist, Human Resources, Talent Development & Well-being
  • Lesley Lundeen, Well-being Manager, Human Resources, Talent Development & Well-being
  • Angela Mitchell, Director, Health Promotion & Wellness


  • You are required to complete 2 hours of self-paced online pre-work before attending a training.
  • In order to access the pre-work, you must first register for a training. See Registration section below.


  • This program is funded by HR, Talent Development & Well-being.


  • For fidelity purposes, the maximum capacity per training is 25.


  • Participants are required to complete the pre-work before the first day of the training.
  • Participants will attend the virtual and/or in-person training in its entirety and actively participate.
  • For virtual trainings, if accessible, participants will have their camera turned on for majority of the training.
  • If special accommodations are needed, contact Well-being.


  • Upon successfully completing the pre-work, attending the training and completing a post-test and evaluation, you will have access to your Mental Health First Aid certificate.
  • Certification must be renewed every 3 years.


Mental Health First Aid is offered to faculty and staff.

Registration information
Dates Time Campus Location Register
Tuesday, October 25 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Chicago Wieboldt Hall Register
Tuesday, November 15 9 a.m.  - 4:30 p.m. Evanston Norris University Center Register
Thursday, December 8 9 a.m.  - 4:30 p.m. Evanston Norris University Center Register