Mental Health First Aid Training for California Public Library Staff

The California State Library is pleased to announce the start of the Mental Health Initiative, an LSTA project that will provide several different forms of training for public library staff. Literally every library staff member in the state will have an opportunity to learn how to work effectively with patrons affected by mental illness.

We will start with one of the main training components of the grant, which is the Mental Health First Aid Instructor Certification Program. There will be two separate training opportunities – the first one will be September 19-23, 2016 at San Diego Public Library and the other will be held at the California State Library in Sacramento, October 24-28, 2016.

This announcement is for the training only. The full grant will be posted on the California State Library website on Monday, August 8, 2016.

What is the Instructor Certification Program?

The Mental Health First Aid USA program is managed by the National Council for Behavioral Health. The Instructor Certification Program is a 5-day/weeklong training that prepares library staff on how to work effectively and compassionately with people living with mental health issues, and help them connect them with local mental health resources and services. The course also certify participants as mental health instructors, and those successfully completing the training will be required to teach three 8-hour Mental Health First Aid courses to library colleagues and community partners.

There is a maximum of 30 people per training session*. To be considered for participation, you must agree to the non-negotiable commitments listed below.

Instructor Certification Program Requirements

  • Successfully complete the 5-Day training
  • Pass a short exam
  • Be evaluated on your presentation skills
  • Provide three 8-hour Mental Health First Aid Trainings to your library colleagues before June 2017

Travel and lodging for the trainings (the five day course and subsequent field trainings) will be paid for and meals not already provided will be reimbursed. Staffing backfill will be provided as well.

This opportunity will increase your library's role in providing another much needed resource to your community. Go to to fill out the application.

* If the number of applicants for each session exceeds 30, participants will be selected by random drawing. If there is a flood
of applications, we will create a waiting list and may consider an additional training.