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MHFA in Philadelphia

Mental Health First Aid originated in Australia and was adapted for use in the United States in 2008.  Philadelphia is one of the first metropolitan areas in the U.S. to implement MHFA on a large scale.  Mayor Nutter’s goal to improve the individual well-being of Philadelphians is furthered by the citywide implementation of MHFA. Philadelphians will be healthier and better educated about behavioral health challenges, and better able to offer assistance to anyone they know who might be experiencing or developing behavioral health challenges.

Philadelphia’s MHFA initiative aims to:

  1. Train as many Philadelphians as possible in the general community and in public safety settings to become Mental Health First Aiders.
  2. Help Philadelphians who are experiencing a behavioral health challenge by referring them to the appropriate treatment and support services

To this end, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities Services (DBHIDS) has established a unit dedicated specifically to making the MHFA training broadly available throughout Philadelphia.  BHTEN is one of many "hubs" where MHFA trainings are being offered.  

To learn more about Philadelphia's MHFA Initiative, and to find listings of MHFA trainings available throughout Philadelphia, go to:


To learn more about what is happening with MHFA nationally, go to:


For more information about MHFA offered at BHTEN, click here