Additional Services

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid is a FREE 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Why take Mental Health First Aid?

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 1 in 5 American adults experience a mental health disorder. Within rural communities, there are limited mental health trainings, a lack of awareness regarding the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, and lack of information about and access to local mental health services, supports, and resources.

What are the course types currently being offered?

Adult Mental Health First Aid: This program is Mental Health First Aid’s core program. Within this course, participants learn about the risks and warning signs of mental health disorders. Participants also have opportunities to build understanding of their impact as Mental Health First Aiders and become equip with appropriate resources.

Youth Mental Health First Aid: This program highlights the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health disorders specific to adolescents (ages 12-18) as well as the importance of early intervention and how the help an adolescent who is in crisis. 

What will you learn?

The course will teach you how to apply the ALGEE action plan:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

 Who should attend?

  • Employers
  • Police officers
  • Hospital staff
  • First responders
  • Faith leaders
  • Community members
  • Caring individuals
  • Parents
  • College/university leaders
  • Human resource professionals
  • Teachers and other school-based workers

Upcoming Courses

Monday, July 22nd, 8:00 AM -5:30 PM

            Location: Autumn’s Center, 120 E 5th St, Spencer, IA

            Trainer: Jill Kluesner (scroll for bio)

Lunch is on your own

Tuesday, July 23rd, 8:00 AM -5:00 PM

            Co-Host: ECI of Western Iowa

            Location: Cronk’s Café, 812 4th Ave S, Denison, IA

            Trainer: Jill Kluesner (scroll for bio)

            Cronk’s Café will have a salad, soup, and sandwich bar. Cost for lunch will be $6.50 + tax.

Past Courses

Saturday, June 29th, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Co-Host: Maurice Reformed Church

            Location: Maurice Reformed Church, 410 Main St, Maurice, IA

            Trainer: Angie Dixon (scroll for bio)

            Morning coffee and lunch will be provided by the Maurice Reformed Church.

Trainer Biographies

Angie Dixon: Angie has had 30 years of experience speaking and training across the United States as well as 10 years training in corporate America at IBM and Eastman Kodak Co. After graduating from Notre Dame Law School in 2000, Angie began training local, regional and national audiences. From Finding Words Indiana, to The National Child Protection Training Center and Child Advocacy Studies, and now with, Dixon Training, Angie continues to motivate and inspire. 

Certified by the National Council for Behavioral Health as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor for Youth, Adult, Older Adult, Police/First Responders and Higher Education., Angie has taught 55+ Mental Health First Aid classes.   


Jill Kluesner: Jill Kluesner, MA, CRC, is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, National Trainer, and public health programming consultant. She has 10+ years of experience working as a provider, youth advocate, educator, published author and instructional designer. In the state of Iowa, she is revered as a leader in community mental health education, as evidenced by creating the path for increasing statewide mental health literacy efforts, providing 150+ Mental Health First Aid courses.

Jill has extensive experience in advancing change within the local and national healthcare landscape. Traveling across the United States, she serves as a National Trainer for the National Council for Behavioral Health, providing train-the-trainer programs in Mental Health First Aid. She has extensive experience providing evidence-based behavioral health trainings for K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, corporations, adult and pediatric medical and behavioral health providers, child welfare programs and faith communities.

Partnering with the University of Iowa, Jill has been an integral part of the redesign of the statewide Peer Support Specialist and Family Peer Support Specialist training curricula. In addition to curriculum development and redesign, Jill provides training program evaluations to monitor and ensure quality programming and fidelity.

Jill completed her undergraduate work at Iowa State University and her graduate work in Rehabilitation Counseling and Public Health at the University of Iowa. 

How do I sign up?

Email Taylor at tprather@seasonscenter.org to register. Registration is required, seating is limited. CEUs may be available. Please email Taylor for more information.

Seasons provides free 24 hour crisis assistance with trained counselors available to help with life’s challenges and hardships. To speak to a crisis counselor call 1-800-242-5101.

Find a location

Seasons Center for Behavioral Health has locations in 13 counties across northwest Iowa.
Enter a city name or zip code to find the location nearest you. Learn more.