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Philly Youth MHFA

The City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), under the direction of DBHIDS Commissioner David Jones, kicked off a citywide implementation of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in January of 2012.  MHFA is a groundbreaking early intervention and public education program that teaches community members how to assist a person experiencing a behavioral health problem. MHFA teaches the skills needed to identify, understand, and respond to signs and symptoms of behavioral health challenges or crises. First Aid is administered until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis is resolved.

In order to become certified in Mental Health First Aid, individuals must complete an interactive 8 hour course that provides an overview of the signs of behavioral health issues.  The City of Philadelphia is pleased to currently be offering this course free of charge to individuals who live or work in Philadelphia.

The DBHIDS Philadelphia MHFA Unit, under the direction of Maria Boswell, is responsible for managing the citywide implementation of MHFA and organizing MHFA trainings throughout the city.

You can reach the Philadelphia MHFA team at or 215.685.3755 for more information, or you can visit the website.

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