Mental Health First Aid programs are evidence based training programs, which teaches mental health first aid skills to members of the public. It also prepares instructors who are trained and accredited individuals to deliver MHFA courses to communities and workplaces across the country.
The concept of MHFA is that people should be taught on how to perform basic ‘first aid’ for those showing signs of mental health problems, just as they are commonly taught first aid for physical conditions. "Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves". The mental health first skills not only enable people to help others in need, but also help oneself by understanding better about their own mental health.
MHFA India aims to contribute in increasing the mental health literacy among the public in India, reduce stigma and bring about positive behaviour towards early help seeking. It works at the National level as the largest public oriented, evidence based, and prevention and education program. The program is successfully running in India for the third year now with a large number of mental health first aiders and a growing community of instructors being trained.