Skip to main content

SDSU Extension Offers Mental Health First Aid Training in Sioux Falls

SDSU Extension will be hosting a mental health first aid training course in Sioux Falls on August 6, 2019. The course will provide tools to identify when a person may be struggling with their mental health or a substance use problem. Additionally, the training will provide appropriate support and resources for professionals who work with individuals that suffer from mental illness.

One in five Americans suffers from mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use can be difficult to detect. For friends and family members, it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not receive assistance until it is too late.

Just as CPR training helps those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid training participants learn a five-step action plan that will guide them through the process of assisting victims and offering appropriate support. 

“Through this program, we hope to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use,” said President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, Linda Rosenberg. “When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need.”

In the past ten years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States, with more than 1 million people certified as Mental Health First Aid responders. 

SDSU Extension staff will present the training, providing local resources for mental health information.

For more information, visit or contact Heather Gessner or Lorna Wounded Head (605.782.3290). 

To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit