September 5


Mind Your Money: How Much Do Mental Health First Aid Instructors Really Make

By Joshua Turner

September 5, 2023

Mental health is a critical aspect of well-being that cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, many individuals still suffer in silence due to the stigma surrounding psychological issues. This is where Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) comes in. MHFA is a training program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to recognize and respond to psychological crises.

MHFA instructors play a vital role in the success of the program. They are responsible for delivering training to individuals and organizations in need.

Becoming a certified MHFA instructor requires rigorous training and preparation. However, it can be a rewarding career path for individuals passionate about mental health advocacy. If you’re interested in becoming one, you may be wondering about the earning potential of this profession.

Key Takeaways

  • MHFA is a training program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to recognize and respond to crises.
  • MHFA instructors play a vital role in training individuals and organizations in need.
  • Becoming a certified MHFA instructor requires rigorous training and preparation, but it can be a rewarding career path for individuals passionate about mental health advocacy.

Understanding Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training program that teaches individuals how to provide initial support to someone experiencing a crisis or developing a problem. The program is designed to help people recognize the signs and symptoms and provide appropriate support until professional help is available.

MHFA educators are trained professionals who teach the program to individuals in various settings, such as workplaces, schools, and community organizations. They provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to support someone experiencing an issue.

They teach participants how to recognize the signs and symptoms of common problems, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Educators also teach participants to provide initial support, listen non-judgmentally, give reassurance, and encourage professional help-seeking.

MHFA mentors help by teaching people how to recognize and respond to psychological issues to create a more supportive and understanding community.

Role and Importance of MHFA Instructors

These mentors equip adults, youth, and teens with the necessary skills to connect with those in need and help them access the appropriate resources.

They use evidence-based practices to teach individuals how to recognize signs and provide initial support until professional help arrives.

MHFA educators bridge the gap between mental health services and communities by training community members; they increase awareness and reduce the stigma. This can lead to more people seeking help when they need it and ultimately improve the community’s mental health.

Becoming a Certified MHFA Instructor

To become an instructor, you must complete a certification course provided by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (NCMH).

The certification course is designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to teach others how to provide initial help to someone experiencing a crisis. The course covers various topics, including the signs and symptoms of common disorders, how to provide initial support, and how to request professional assistance.


To become certified, you must complete the instructor training course and pass the certification exam. The training course includes both online and in-person components, and you will receive all the necessary materials to teach the MHFA course to others.

As an instructor, you can lead MHFA courses and help others learn how to provide initial help to those in need. You will also gain valuable experience in mental health education and training, which can benefit your career and personal growth.

Many employers value MHFA certification and may be willing to provide financial assistance for their employees to become certified instructors. If you are interested in becoming an instructor, talk to your employer about the possibility of receiving aid.

MHFA Courses and Training Methods

The courses are available in in-person or blended formats, providing learners with the skills to identify and understand mental illness and how to respond to a crisis. It is available throughout the United States and is offered by certified mentors who have undergone rigorous training to ensure fidelity to the MHFA system.

The course schedule is flexible, and learners can interact with mentors and other participants in a supportive and non-judgmental environment. Training methods are designed to be engaging and interactive, incorporating case studies, role-playing, and other activities to reinforce learning. provides marketing and registration support for educators, ensuring that the courses are accessible to those who need them most. They can also access various resources and tools to help them deliver the program effectively, including manuals, videos, and other materials.

Funding and Support for MHFA Instructors

Various funding and support programs are available to ensure that they are well-equipped and motivated to carry out their duties.

Grants are one of the most common forms of funding for MHFA mentors. These grants can come from various sources, including government agencies, private foundations, and non-profit organizations. They can be used to cover the cost of training, materials, and other expenses related to delivering MHFA programs.

Evaluation is also an aspect of funding and support for MHFA instructors. Regular evaluation helps ensure that the program is effective and they deliver high-quality training.

MHFA USA provides ongoing evaluation and support to them to ensure they deliver the program as intended.

Health and human services workers and first responders are two groups that can benefit greatly from MHFA training. To support these groups, many organizations offer free or reduced-cost training to these individuals. This ensures they can provide support to those in need.

Caring citizens can also benefit from support and funding programs. Many organizations offer scholarships or other financial assistance to individuals interested in becoming MHFA instructors but need help to afford the cost of training.

Earning Potential of MHFA Instructors

The earning potential can vary depending on location, experience, and training type. National trainers can earn more than local educators due to their expertise and experience.

Zoom has become a popular platform for MHFA training, and they can earn a similar amount to in-person training. However, pre-work is often required to ensure participants have the necessary materials and technology for the course.


They can earn additional income by providing follow-up support or offering advanced courses. It’s important to note that while MHFA instructors can make a decent income, it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme and requires dedication and hard work.

Teaching Specific Groups: Teens and Adults

Teaching mental health first aid to specific groups, such as teens and adults, requires a unique approach. The Teen Mental Health First Aid (TMHFA) program is designed for adults who work with or care for youth, such as teachers, coaches, and parents.

The manual includes information on common challenges teens face, such as depression, anxiety, and substance use challenges. The program also covers warning signs, risk factors, and strategies for supporting teens in crisis.

For adults, the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program provides training on recognizing the signs in their colleagues, friends, and family members.

The instructor-led or self-paced online course covers topics such as how to approach someone in crisis, how to connect them with appropriate resources, and how to provide ongoing support. The MHFA resources page and MHFA Connect also offer additional support and information for mentors and participants.

When teaching it to teens and adults, emphasize the importance of seeking professional help in a crisis. They should also be aware of any local resources or organizations that can provide additional support to individuals in need. Partnering with these organizations can also help them offer more comprehensive training to their participants.

The Impact of MHFA Instructors on Mental Health

With their training, they help individuals identify the signs of problems and provide initial support until professional help arrives.

They train individuals, organizations, and communities, which helps create a supportive and inclusive environment for people with problems. This, in turn, reduces the stigma and encourages individuals to seek help.

MHFA instructors are also instrumental in the prevention of problems. They provide education on self-care, stress management, and resilience-building techniques, which help individuals to maintain good mental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average salary for Mental Health First Aid instructors?

The average salary varies depending on location, experience, and employer. However, according to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a Mental Health First Aid instructor in the United States is around $59,000 annually.

Are Mental Health First Aid instructor salaries competitive?

Yes, salaries are competitive compared to other healthcare-related instructor positions. In addition to a competitive salary, many employers offer benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

How much can I earn as a Mental Health First Aid instructor?

The amount you can expect to earn depends on your experience, location, and employer. On average, they can earn between $40,000 to $60,000 per year. However, some experienced ones may make more.

What factors influence the salary of Mental Health First Aid instructors?

Several factors influence the salary, including experience, location, employer, and industry demand. Educators with more experience and in high-demand areas may earn higher wages.

What are the job prospects like for Mental Health First Aid instructors?

The job prospects are good as the demand for mental health services grows. Those willing to travel or work in underserved areas may have better job prospects.

Can I make a living as a Mental Health First Aid instructor?

Yes. While the salary may not be as high as some healthcare-related positions, it is a rewarding career that allows you to make a difference in people’s lives. Additionally, many employers offer benefits to help you make a comfortable living.

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