Mental Health First Aid Certification Course

Mental Health First Aid Certification Course

Offered Exclusively to GVMA Members & Practice Management Staff!

Mental Health First Aid Certification Course
Provides 3-Year Mental Health First Aid Certification + 2 LEAP CE Credits + 6 General CE Credits
Saturday, December 7, 2019
8 am – 5 pm

2200 Century Pkwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30345
Lobby Level Conference Room in Highwoods Building


Practice Managers – Please contact our office to receive the $75 rate.


The evidence behind Mental Health First Aid demonstrates that it makes people feel more comfortable managing a crisis situation and builds mental health literacy — helping the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness. Specifically, studies found that those who were trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing help to others, greater likelihood of advising people to seek professional help, improved concordance with health professionals about treatments, and decreased stigmatizing attitudes.

Mental Health First Aid certification, which must be renewed every three years, teaches participants to:

  • Recognize the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including: depression, anxiety/trauma, psychosis and psychotic disorders, substance use disorders, and self-injury. Youth Mental Health First Aid addresses mental health challenges common among adolescents, including: depression, anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavioral disorders, and substance use disorders.
  • Use a 5-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional help.
  • Interpret the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced negative attitudes in their communities.
  • Apply knowledge of the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem treat and manage the problem and achieve recovery.
  • Assess their own views and feelings about mental health problems and disorders.

Holly Pounders earned her instructor certificate for Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in August 2010 and has been actively facilitating trainings ever since. She is also certified to teach the Older Adult; Military, Veterans and their Families and Rural modules for the Adult curriculum. Holly became certified as a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) instructor in October 2012 and facilitated one of the first YMHFA trainings in Georgia. She has facilitated MHFA trainings for a variety of organizations and individuals all over the state of Georgia. In October 2017 Holly was named one of the top 100 MHFA instructors in the USA by the National Council for Behavioral Health and in July 2018 was named one of the top 20 MHFA instructors.

Holly has over 30+ years’ experience in public behavioral health care with a degree in Health Information Management. She worked at Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta, the Georgia Mental Health Institute and the DeKalb Community Service Board. Throughout her career she was an advocate for patient rights and chaired the patient rights committee at both state hospitals, and redesigned and directed the patient rights program at the DeKalb Community Service Board. In addition to providing MHFA training, Holly has also provided consultation services to Grady Hospital’s Behavioral Health Services, Hillside Residential Services, McIntosh Trail Behavioral Health, Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta and DeKalb Community Service Board.

While facilitating MHFA trainings, Holly uses stories and examples from her work experience as well as personal stories to illustrate some of the MHFA curriculum. She is retired from full time employment but stays current by attending meetings and educational seminars, and by supporting relevant organizations such as Mental Health America of Georgia, the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Georgia, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and the National Council for Behavioral Health.

7:30am – 8:00am: Registration & Continental Breakfast
8:00am – 10:00am: Part 1

  • What is Mental Health First Aid?
  • Mental Health Problems in the USA
  • The Mental Health First Aid Action Plan
  • Understanding Depression
  • Understanding Anxiety Disorders

10:00am – 10:10am: Break
10:10am – 12:10pm: Part 2

  • Crisis First Aid for Suicidal Behavior & Depressive symptoms
  • What is Non-Suicidal Self-Injury?
  • Non-crisis First Aid for Depression and Anxiety

12:10pm – 12:50pm: Lunch
12:50pm – 2:50pm: Part 3

  • Crisis First Aid for Panic Attacks
  • Crisis First Aid for Traumatic events
  • Understanding Disorders in Which Psychosis may Occur
  • Crisis First Aid for Acute Psychosis

2:50pm – 3:00pm: Break
3:00pm – 5:00pm: Part 4

  • Understanding Substance Use Disorder
  • Crisis First Aid for Overdose
  • Crisis First Aid for Withdrawal
  • Using Mental Health First Aid

Fee: $75 per person (includes breakfast, lunch, 3-year MHFA certification, 2 LEAP CE credit hours, & 6 General CE credit hours)

Practice Managers – Please contact our office to register at the $75 rate.