Mental Health First is being offered virtually at URI.  It is an intervention aimed at introducing risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, understanding the impact of mental health concerns, and identifying available community and campus supports.

Like medical first aid, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with people in need and connect them with appropriate help. First Aiders do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy, but are trained to answer key questions, like “what do I do?” and “where can someone find help?”. Mental Health First Aid is a high-impact program that is listed in SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidenced Based Programs and Practices.

Statistics show that 75% of mental illnesses develop before age 25; making it imperative that faculty, staff, and students discuss critical risk factors, common signs and symptoms, and the many available supports (both on campus and in the community). Training students, faculty, and others in higher education settings how to recognize the symptoms of emerging mental illnesses or to assist young adults in a mental health crisis can help lessen the impact of mental illnesses.


Mental Health First Aid teaches a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone with signs and symptoms of a mental health concern.     

Assess for risk of suicide or harm
Listen nonjudgmentally
Give reassurance and information
Encourage appropriate professional help
Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Mental Health First Aid helps people know that mental illnesses and addictions are real, common, and treatable. Individuals trained in Mental Health First Aid can:

  1. Raise awareness, reduce stigma, and facilitate discussion of mental health
  2. Encourage understanding of unique cultural factors that can affect mental health and help-seeking
  3. Reach out to those who suffer in silence, or who are reluctant to seek help
  4. Identify available supports and self-help strategies