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Education and Workshops

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an exciting public education program that helps people identify, understand, and respond to individuals experiencing signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. MHFA was developed to help members of the community support an individual developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Recommended for people working with the public (nurses, teachers, public welfare workers, law enforcement, etc), as well as anyone who wants to learn more about mental health or feel more comfortable assisting someone experiencing a mental health problem.

What do Participants Learn?

This innovative 12-hour workshop teaches:

    • Basic knowledge of the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems
    • A 5-step action plan encompassing the skills to assess a situation, select and implement appropriate interventions, and help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional care
    • Understanding of the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced stigma
    • Working knowledge of the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem achieve recovery

The Community Counseling Centers of Chicago provide regular trainings on Mental Health First Aid.  You can attend scheduled trainings or request a training for your community.  Find a course here.

Companionship Training

Developed by  Pathways to Promise, Companionship Workshop participants are introduced to the revolutionary Companionship Model, that has five very important tenets–Hospitality, Neighboring, Side-by-Side, Listening, and Accompaniment. The workshop provides participants with an understanding of how to simply be present with those who are experience mental illness or other challenges and to accompany them without trying to fix the situation. Workshop participants will also learn the importance of integrating Companionship into their organizations or their faith communities with their staff, ushers, social justice teams and pastoral care teams.  There are many opportunities to participate in this workshop. Go to our Events Calendar to see what is coming up.

NAMI Basics Education Program

NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) offers a national signature education program for parents and other caregivers of children and adolescents living with mental illness.  The course is taught by trained teachers who are the parent or other caregivers of individuals who developed the symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years.  All instruction and course materials are free to class participants.  For more information click on the brochure.


A joint project of Advocate Health Care & the OCEAN-HP at the University of Illinois at Chicago.