Instructors of Mental Health First Aid

Instructors are the drivers of Mental Health First Aid.

Welcome to the Southwestern Pennsylvania Mental Health First Aid Collaborative Instructor Page! Information and resources for regional Mental Health First Aid instructors can be found here.

*Important Reminders for Instructors

  1. Starting January 1, 2019 Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainings should include the content focusing on opioid use and overdose.
    • Review the webinar on National Council’s website. A link to the recording and slides is located at: Instructor Login → Resources → Webinars → Past Webinars → Course Content → Opioid Response Supplement
    • Following the webinar, you will receive an email with a link to the instructor notes, manual supplement, updated power point with opioid response content, Narcan instructional video, and the SAMHSAS Opioid Response Toolkit
    • The opioid response manual supplement is included with AHCI’s Adult MHFA materials
  2. Before each training, please remember to register your course on Mental Health First Aid USA’s website through the “Manage Courses” page in your Instructor Portal.
  3. After each training, please send your sign-in sheet, Mental Health Opinions Quizzes, and reimbursement form (if relevant) to AHCI within 7 days of your training. They can be sent via postal mail, fax, or email:Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc
    444 Liberty Avenue, Suite 240
    Pittsburgh, PA  15222
    Fax: 412.325.1100

Southwestern Pennsylvania MHFA Collaborative

Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services and AHCI have been early and active adopters of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, beginning local trainings and implementing the Southwestern Pennsylvania MHFA Collaborative of instructors in 2009, as well as supporting instructor certification trainings since 2012. The collaborative currently consists of over 180 certified MHFA instructors from 70+ organizations in Allegheny and surrounding counties. AHCI is able to support MHFA instructors by:

  • Connecting instructors with co-instructors and groups seeking MHFA training
  • Supplying training materials and/or ordering meals when funding is approved for the training
  • Sponsoring instructor certification trainings
  • Tracking and reporting regional data
  • Conducting regional outreach and marketing
  • Hosting annual meetings for instructors to connect with one another and learn about resources

(Co)Instructors and Training Opportunities

The Southwestern Pennsylvania MHFA Collaborative includes adult and youth certified MHFA instructors, as well as instructors with module certifications in higher education, older adults, veterans, and public safety. If you are a MHFA instructor seeking a co-instructor or opportunities to train, or if you are a representative of a group or organization seeking MHFA instructors to provide a training, please contact Emily Insalaco, Administrative Training Coordinator at Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. at 412-325-1100 or at

Materials and Meals

Certified MHFA instructors in Allegheny and surrounding counties who would like to request materials and/or meals for their MHFA training are asked to submit a completed MHFA Materials & Meals Request Form to 30 days prior to their training in order to ensure the appropriate assignment of funding and availability of materials. Please note that submitting the form does not guarantee free materials or meals for your training. If you experience issues with the fillable Word document, feel free to use the printable version.

Instructor Certification

When an individual becomes a certified MHFA instructor, s/he is committing to teach the full 8-hour course with fidelity to the core program model and key messages. In order to maintain instructor certification, instructors are responsible for:

  • Teaching their first course within 6 months of becoming certified
  • Teaching at least 3 courses per year
  • Submitting participant evaluations to MHFA USA and maintaining satisfactory participant evaluation scores
  • Passing quality evaluation visits and assessments
  • Engaging in instructor/course refresher activities as instructed

Module Certification

When certified instructors have taught at least two courses in their foundation curriculum (i.e., Adult English/Spanish and/or Youth English/Spanish), they can specialize by obtaining module certifications to address the unique needs of specific populations (e.g., Emergency Medical Services, Veterans, Older Adults, Public Safety, and Higher Education). There is a strong need for instructors with these specialties, so please consider pursuing module certifications. To learn more, visit the “Designations” page under the “Curricula” tab in your Instructor Portal.


The fact sheets below offer a summary of AHCI’s MHFA activities annually. For more information, or to request additional data, please contact Emily Insalaco, Administrative Training Coordinator at Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. at 412-325-1100 or at

Continuing Education (CEUs)

Local organizations and instructors who would like to offer CEUs for their MHFA training participants can learn about how to do so for the below listed professionals through the Continuing Education for MHFA in Southwestern PA overview. The most accurate and up-to-date information on providing CEUs can be found by contacting accredited continuing education providers directly.

  • Addiction, Peer, and Recovery Specialists (e.g., CADC, CCDP, CPS, CRS)
  • Educators and Educational Staff (Act 45 & 48)
  • Attorneys (CLEs)
  • Counselors and Social Workers (e.g., LSW, LCSW, LMFT, LPC)
  • Nurses (CNEs)
  • Psychologists and Other Mental Health Professionals (APA-Approved CEUs)

Please note that many CE providers require documentation and fee payments 30 or more days PRIOR to your training, so make sure to plan ahead. For processes that require training summaries or brochures, you can use the attached MHFA Course Syllabus and/or the MHFA Brochure.

If you have questions, please please contact Emily Insalaco, Behavioral Health Learning and Innovation at Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. at 412-325-1100 or at


For Mental Health First Aid USA resources and materials, please visit the MHFA Store and the “Resources” tab in your Instructor Portal. A few local resources can be found below:

Allegheny County

Beaver County

Butler County

  • Mental Health & Addiction Recovery Services Board Provider List

Westmoreland County

  • Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Resources

Washington County