Community Access to Mental Health First Aid Resources

The Montana Flex Program &  North Central and South Central Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) along with Montana Office of Rural Health Behavioral Health Workforce Education & Training (BHWET) grant have developed an opportunity to bring together community members who are first contacts for those needing mental or behavioral health care to receive and promote Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training and share mental health resources.

Why Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This 8-hour training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to appropriate care.



  • Common signs and symptoms of mental illness
  • Common signs and symptoms of substance use
  • How to interact with a person in crisis
  • How to connect the person with help
  • Rural Designated Curriculum/Instructors
  • NEW: How to administer naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose



The local Critical Access Hospital (CAH) will act as host and organizer for the event in their community involving an 8 hour training course for up to 25 participants.  Two to three weeks following the training, the CAH will reconvene the training group and host a conversation for community partners following the training to compile resources and establish a plan for continued growth of mental and behavioral health support for its community members.  This break between the training and community conversation will provide participants with the time to analyze and prepare for the discussion.

The MT Flex program and BHWET will cover the costs for:

  • training for 20-25 individuals
  • meeting costs including food & beverages for during the training & community conversation
  • assistance with planning and organizing your event
  • any additional expenses related to travel for trainers and grant program staff


Applications will be available in late Fall 2020 for trainings during the Flex 2020-2021 grant year.  Only Flex-eligible CAHs are able to take part in this offering.


Past Participating CAHs and communities:

Stillwater Billings Clinic, Columbus
Benefis Teton Medical Center, Choteau
Northern Rockies Medical Center, Cut Bank
Daniels Memorial Healthcare Center, Scobey
Madison Valley Medical Center, Ennis
Mountainview Medical Center, White Sulphur Springs
Central Montana Medical Center, Lewistown
Marcus Daly Medical Center, Hamilton
Phillips County Hospital, Malta