Student Training

Mental Health First Aid Training

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, a national trade group with 1,300 member organizations who serve six million Americans nationwide, brought Mental Health First Aid to the United States in 2008 with the goal of making it as common in 10 years as traditional First Aid and CPR are today.

MHFA is a 8-hour training course designed to teach individuals (trainers) methods for assisting someone who may be in the early stages of developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The course provides useful information on how to assist individuals who have a history of mental disorders, longer-term mental health problems, or help identify those developing serious mental health difficulties. Trainers who complete the 8-hour training program will learn a five-step action plan to:

  1. Assess a situation
  2. Select and implement appropriate interventions
  3. Secure appropriate care for an individual experiencing a mental health problem.

Trainers also learn risk factors and warning signs of mental illness and about available mental health treatments. Upon completion, trainers better understand the impact mental illnesses have on a person, their family, and communities. The National Council, which oversees Mental Health First Aid nationally and credentials trainers, will ensure the U.S. program continues to have a strong empirically-backing by ongoing evaluation in this country.

"When you think of basic first aid, what comes to mind? Many of us carry first aid kits in our cars, or have taken a basic first aid course. Why? Perhaps we want to be prepared to help a loved one in a medical emergency, or perhaps we have an altruistic desire to be of service if a stranger needs assistance. Knowledge and skills serve us well in navigating an emergency and can potentially prevent a medical emergency through early intervention. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) aims to do both: teach members of the public how to respond in a mental health emergency and offer support to someone who appears to be in emotional distress."  (Swarbrick, P. & Brown, J.K., 2008)

For more information on obtaining the 8-hour MHFA training, please contact Wei-Chien Lee at (408) 924-5910. Additionally, please feel free to download the MHFA brochure [pdf] [pdf] or visit the Mental Health First Aid website.

Training Dates 

All current MHFA training seats have been sold out. Please email to be added to the mailing list and get updates when new training dates are scheduled.           

Mental Health First Aid for Youth

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

Training Dates 

All current Mental Health First Aid for Youth training seats have been sold out. Please email to be added to the mailing list and get updates when new training dates are scheduled.     

"A Thousand Stars"

For thousands of years, people have looked up to the stars in wonder for direction, wishes, and connections. These stars seem small and quiet, but the web woven by thousands of them covers the whole night sky.

“A Thousand Stars” is a suicide awareness and prevention training, and a component of San José State University's Suicide Prevention and Resilience Network. This up-to-date and multiculturally-informed training on suicide awareness provides education and skills to SJSU student volunteers (who become “Stars”) in order to help provide fellow students and community members in distress with vital resources.

Stars also obtain consultation and gain effective communication skills and tools to enhance personal wellness. Participants of this program help form a safety net for students in need of support and services, and foster the development of a more informed and compassionate campus community.

Become one of the SJSU “Stars” and help students find support and warmth in the darkness.

  • Why?  To do our best to reduce and prevent suicide, by helping to support and enhance a caring, compassionate campus community.
  • Who?  Any San José State University student who wants to contribute to this important work is welcome.
  • How?  Please contact Dr. David Emmert for availability, date, and location by email: (Space is limited).


QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) is a 1.5-hour Gatekeeper training. The participants will be able to recognize some signs of suicide and provide support and referral and be able to provide Suicide First Aid (similar to CPR for a cardiac crisis).

  • In-Person Training: Upon your request, a Certified QPR trainer will go to your class, group or meeting to provide the training.
  • On-Line Training: About one hour, plus a post-training test.

For information on in-person and online QPR training, contact Dr. Lee at

ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training)

This comprehensive and intensive (14-hour) training helps you gain skills in recognizing suicide signs as well as skills and knowledge in helping people who are dealing with suicide.

Peers in PRIDE

Why navigate SJSU alone when a Peer Mentor can help? Peers in PRIDE is a free mentorship program designed to bridge the gap for incoming LGBTQI students. We provide individual support and resources to undergraduate, graduate, and non-traditional students.

Would you like to:

  • Get connected to the LGBTQI Community at SJSU?
  • Get confidential support?
  • Get linked to resources avaible to you?
  • Make new friends?

For questions or to request more information, contact Stephanie Preston at or drop by the PRIDE Center