MARTINSBURG, W.VA. – People usually associate the term first aid with rendering help in situations when a person’s physical health has been compromised or may be in danger. Bandaging minor wounds, doing CPR, or using the Heimlich maneuver for someone who can’t breathe are common first aid methods.

What happens when a person’s mental health has been compromised and mental health problems begin to interfere with a person’s ability to live a meaningful and productive life? Is there any first aid available for mental health problems? The answer is YES.

Mental Health First Aid is a dynamic eight-hour program that promotes mental health as a key part of overall health. Participants learn how to recognize and respond to others who are experiencing various kinds of mental distress and more acute mental health problems.  

Participants learn risk factors and warning signs of various mental health problems. They learn about the impact of mental health problems, and they learn how to use a practical, effective action plan to offer initial help to people experiencing emotional or mental health problems.

WVU Medicine University Healthcare and the University Healthcare Foundation are sponsors of Mental Health First Aid. The program is open to the public and currently free of charge. The next Mental Health First Aid program is scheduled for January 25 from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the 2nd floor conference room of the Dorothy McCormack Center on the Berkeley Medical Center campus in Martinsburg.

Spaces are limited, and pre-registration is necessary. For more information, visit or contact Ariel Place in the Behavioral Health Department at Berkeley Medical Center at 304-264-1287 ext. 32239.

For more information: Teresa E. McCabe, University Healthcare Vice President for Marketing & Development, 304-264-1223