Check out the latest training opportunities

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based 6-6.5 hour virtual classroom training combined with 2 hours of pre-work. Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack — even if you have no clinical training — this training helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

From 2015-2018, Mental Health America trained almost 3500 people in Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid through grants from the Substance Abuse Mental Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS). These grants are helping to make Mental Health First Aid as common as First Aid and CPR.

Currently, through the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OHMHAS), we have two projects that allow attendees to get certified as Mental Health First Aiders at no cost:

1. The “Connecting All Ohioans to MHFA” Project to train 4000 individuals serving minorities, faith-based, elderly, or youth 12 -21 by June 30, 2021. To schedule a class for your Ohio group or organization, visit or contact Tori Ivan

2. The “Ohio First Responders” Project to train 250 law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, jail staff or dispatchers by December 31, 2020. To register for this limited-time opportunity, please click on the link below or contact Jessica Ball,

Ohio First Responder Mental Health First Aid Class Registration (Registration Deadline for all classes is November 13, 2020):

December 14

December 16

December 18

December 21

December 28

Treating Fire Service Professionals: Building Cultural Competency

Training Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 12:00pm

Led by Molly Jones, LSW

The purpose of this training is to help clinicians and other community partners develop cultural competency in the fire service, as to be best equipped to provide effective behavioral health services to fire fighters, paramedics and emergency dispatchers.

The event will include information about day-to-day life at the fire house and the potential impact of aspects of the job on well-being (i.e. exposure to trauma, shift schedules, mental health stigmas). This presentation will provide insight in to the most “common” behavioral health issues experienced by fire service members, substance abuse trends among this unique population of professionals and treatment techniques that have proved successful at the International Association of Fire Fighters Center of Excellence. Completing this training will establish clinicians as “preferred providers” in the IAFF Center of Excellence database for aftercare referrals, as to provide a continuation of care for clients with providers who understand the intricacies of the fire service.

Register here:

Help Starts at Home: Fire Service Families and Behavioral Health


Led by Molly Jones, LSW, Dawn Roy, LCSW & Theresa Snow, Local 1271 Surrey

View the recorded webinar at

This training will provide spouses, family members, and other loved one's insight into behavioral health issues among fire service members and strategies for navigating them successfully. First responders themselves may also find this information an insightful examination of the family dynamic and can benefit from a discussion of best practices for communication among spouses and other family members.

This webinar will be hosted by IAFF Center of Excellence Clinical Outreach Coordinator, Molly Jones, LSW. She will be joined by Dawn Roy, LCSW, of Stanford, Connecticut, and Theresa Snow, fire fighter/paramedic of Surrey, British Columbia.

Dawn is an outpatient clinician specializing in treating first responders, a founding member of the Fairfield County (CT) Trauma Response Network, a mother of two, and the wife of a captain within the local fire department. Theresa is an 18-year firefighter/paramedic and an IAFF Master Peer Support Instructor, as well as a CISM and peer team member for the Surrey Fire Department. She is the mother of a 12-year old daughter and the wife of a fellow fire fighter/paramedic.

Dawn and Theresa will each share perspective on their experience as fire fighter spouses, strategies for managing occupational stressors at home, and discuss how family members can develop an awareness of the signs and symptoms related to the most commonly experienced behavioral health issues among fire service members.


Trauma in the Fire Service for Clinicians

Training Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2020 - 12:00pm

Led by Lauren Kosc, CCTP, LCPC

This introductory webinar is intended for clinicians who are interested in working with fire service personnel that are coping with post-traumatic stress or PTSD. Fire service personnel may attend as well. Topics will cover data on PTS and PTSD in the fire service, unique aspects of trauma among fire service personnel, the role of peer support in addressing trauma, introduction to evidence based practices for PTSD, risks of PTSD and cooccurring behavioral health disorders, and updates of PTSD presumptive legislation.

This presentation will also introduce attendees to the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery, which specializes in the treatment of post traumatic stress, substance use disorders and other related mental health issues among fire service members. The IAFF Center of Excellence is the only treatment center in North America that exclusively treats fire fighters, paramedics and dispatchers.

Register here:

SAMHSA Creating Safe Scenes Training Course


This free online course helps first responders assist individuals in crisis with mental illness or substance use disorder using safe, positive approaches.

Creating Safe Scenes is a free, Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE)- accredited, online training course that helps first responders—police, fire, and emergency medical services—work with individuals experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis.

This course is designed to help first responders understand more about mental health, mental illness, and substance use disorders so they can better assess risks and apply the safest strategies for taking care of themselves and the individuals they are called to serve.

Creating Safe Scenes—which includes first-hand video accounts from responders and mental health consumers, quizzes, resources, and a final exam—will help first responders:

  • Understand how individuals come to experience a behavioral health crisis
  • Understand how best to make a safe connection with an individual experiencing a crisis
  • Learn about de-escalation strategies for working with people in crisis
  • Learn strategies for developing community networks and referral resources
  • Understand how to improve the safety of both the responder and the individual in crisis

SAMHSA First Response: Working on the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis Training Course


This free, 1-hour, online training course was developed in response to the impact of the opioid crisis on first responders across the country. It addresses the mental and physical stressors faced by firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, and police when responding to opioid overdose calls. This course also provides evidence-based coping strategies, resources, and exercises to help mitigate the impacts of these stressful events.

The course is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE). Course participants complete a final exam to obtain continuing education credit.

After completing this course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the opioid crisis, including its extent and how it affects the critical work that first responders do;
  • Describe mental health and substance use issues and mental and substance use disorders that are more common among first responders than the general public;
  • Recognize the warning signs of mental and substance use disorders in yourself and your peers;
  • Help reduce stigma, or negative and incorrect ideas about mental and substance use disorders—including the nature of opioid use and misuse, opioid use disorder, and addiction, and the needs of first responders;
  • Identify and use stress management and healthy coping strategies; and
  • Share evidence-based practices and resources for self-care and positive responses to work stress.

Navigating the Behavioral Health Care System for Fire Service Members

Training Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

This presentation will help fire service members better understand and navigate the complexities of the behavioral health care system. Presenters Molly Jones, LSW and Tina Casola, President of First Alarm Wellness will discuss how to identify an acute emergency crisis in oneself and/or a peer, explore various levels of behavioral health care treatment and review the most common licenses and qualifications of behavioral health treatment providers.

Webinar attendees will be better equipped to identify and utilize behavioral health treatment resources, as well as gain a greater understanding of what to expect when accessing and engaging in treatment. The speakers will provide insight into behavioral health assessments, treatment planning, and frequently used treatment modalities and best practice approaches for fire service clients.

Led by Molly Jones, LSW & Tina Casola, LMFT

Register here:

Addiction in the Fire Service: Training for Fire Fighters, Paramedics & Dispatchers



The purpose of this webinar is to provide continuing education in behavioral health matters for fire service professionals. This presentation “Addiction in the Fire Service” will address various types of substance use disorders and addiction experienced among fire fighters, paramedics and dispatchers. This webinar will provide insight into signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction, as well as resources to find help for oneself or a peer.

This presentation is ideal for IAFF members, fire service leadership, peer support team members, chaplains, spouses and other individuals in a capacity to support first responders struggling with or in recovery from addiction or a substance use disorder. We will also address how the present pandemic has changed the dynamic of recovery and substance abuse trends in this unprecedented time.

Speaker Information: Molly Jones, LSW, is the Clinical Coordinator for the IAFF Center of Excellence. In this role, Molly is responsible for working with community clinical partners across North America to design continuing care plans for clients returning to their local areas after treatment at the Center of Excellence. She travels the country providing continuing education to first responders on behavioral health topics and clinicians on cultural competency in the fire service.

Molly earned a Masters in Social Worker from the University of Oklahoma and has extensive experience in case management, behavioral health treatment and human services. In addition to case management oversight and continuing education, Molly works with local and state IAFF leadership to connect fire fighters to quality clinicians, prescribers and programs in communities across the U.S.

IAFF Disaster Response Peer Support



The Disaster Response Peer Support training was developed as a result of more frequent and more severe natural and man-made disasters. The training provides peer supporters with information on how disasters contribute to behavioral health problems and how to intervene. Participants will learn the importance of promoting five key concepts: safety, calming, efficacy, connectedness and hope.

The goal of the program is to:

•Describe how disasters can contribute to behavioral health problems.

•Identify how peer support after a disaster is different than a typical peer support call or activity.

•List the multiple roles involved in providing peer support at a disaster area.

•Apply five principles that should guide all disaster response.

•Identify self-care activities for peer supporters before, during and after deploying to a disaster area.

•List available IAFF resources for disaster relief.


Service to Self online training through SAMHSA


This free online training course informs fire and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel about their increased risk of experiencing mental health and substance use issues and conditions. It also equips them with information and resources to address these issues in themselves or their peers.

Service to Self: Behavioral Health for Fire and EMS Personnel is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE).

Course participants complete a final exam to obtain continuing education credit.

This 60-minute course includes relatable firsthand video accounts from volunteer and career firefighters and emergency medical technicians, as well as helpful resources and interactive components to support learning.

This course is designed to help firefighters and EMS personnel to:

  • Be aware of risk factors for and prevalence of mental health and substance use issues in their professional communities.
  • Recognize the warning signs of mental health and substance use issues in yourself and your peers.
  • Discuss mental health and substance use-related issues with colleagues to help reduce stigma.
  • Identify and use stress management and healthy coping strategies. Be aware of and share evidence-based practices and resources for increasing capacity to cope with occupational stressors.

Webinar Words Matter: How to Safely Communicate About Suicide

Training Date: Thursday, November 28, 2019 - 8:00pm to Monday, November 30, 2020 - 8:00pm

Webinar - Firefighters and Resilience, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention

Training Date: Monday, July 8, 2019 - 5:30pm to Sunday, July 24, 2022 - 5:30pm
Nathan Stoermer is a suicide attempt survivor, ardent supporter, and speaker on firefighter mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Chief Stoermer holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Administration from Eastern Kentucky University, an associates degree in Paramedic Science from Ivy Tech Community College, and various fire & EMS certifications including being designated as a Chief Fire Officer from the CPSE and currently enrolled in the EFOP. Chief Stoermer is driven to leave the company under which he serves better than he found it.

Mental Health First Aid

Training Date: Friday, March 1, 2019 - 5:45am to Monday, March 1, 2021 - 5:45am

Mental Health First Aid for Fire and EMS focuses on the unique experiences and needs of firefighters and EMS personnel and is a valuable resource that can make a difference in their lives, their families’ lives and the communities in which they live. Firefighters and EMS workers learn about the importance of early intervention and how, as first responders, they can intervene in the field and provide direct assistance to someone who is experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis. You can find a course on this site by clicking on "Search for Course"

Service to Self – Behavioral Health for Fire and EMS Personnel


An online training for first responders developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administraion.  This training will provide CEU's for both Peer Support Team members and for paramedics.

Training for Clinicians who work with Firefighters


For clinicians, the first step to learning more about providing behavioral health services to firefighters and EMS personnel is to take the free online course, Helping Heroes. This course was developed by the Medical University of South Carolina’s National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. It offers behavioral health professionals easy access to instruction that will enable them to apply the very best evidence-based approaches to the issues presented by their fire service clients. Helping Heroes is a web-based training package designed to run on all popular software and hardware platforms. Each of the 10 training modules requires approximately one hour to complete, and an additional component serves as a session-by-session toolkit guide.

Online Stress First Aid Training

Training Date: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 - 12:15am to Wednesday, January 1, 2020 - 12:15am

Stress First Aid has been identified as the recommended protocol following a Potentially Traumatic Event.  This online training will provide a working knowledge of the practice and principles of Stress First Aid in the fire service.  You must register for a free account with Fire Hero Lerning Network in order to take this course.

Firefighter Life Safety Initiative #13 states: "Firefighters and their families should have access to counseling and psychological support." Stress First Aid (SFA), an important component of fulfilling this Life Safety Initiative, is a set of supportive actions designed to help emergency responders assist each other in reducing the negative impacts of stress. SFA was designed specifically to support firefighters, EMS, and rescue personnel. This module teaches SFA at the awareness level, focusing on:

  • Understanding stress
  • Recognizing how stress manifests in thoughts, words, and actions
  • Delivering the "Seven C's" of Stress First Aid (Check, Coordinate, Cover, Calm, Connect, Competence, Confidence) to each other

This method of assisting a co-worker undergoing stress is practical, flexible, and can be tailored to the specific need.

IAFF Online Behavioral Health Awareness Course


Course Summary The goal of this course to educate IAFF members on behavioral health issues in the fire service. The course provides a basic overview of common behavioral health problems and available treatment options, information on balancing work and life stressors, and how to improve the behavioral health services offered in local departments. Successful completion of this course is a prerequisite for the IAFF Peer Support Train-the-Trainer Program. You must be an active member with the IAFF and create an online account to take this course.

Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) - Suicide Prevention


An online training opportunity for officers, mental health providers, chaplains, and peer support team members.

Access to lethal means can determine whether a person who is suicidal lives or dies. This course explains why means restriction is an important part of a comprehensive approach to suicide prevention. It will teach you how to ask suicidal patients/clients about their access to lethal means, and work with them and their families to reduce their access. After completing this course you will be able to: Explain why reducing access to lethal means is an effective way of saving lives. Describe the role of impulsivity, ambivalence, and differing lethality of methods in contributing to suicide deaths and attempts. Describe how counseling on access to lethal means fits into suicide prevention counseling. Ask your patients/clients about their access to lethal means. Work with your patients/clients on reducing access to lethal means, particularly firearms and medications, including: Communicate effectively with your patients/clients about this issue. Set goals for reducing access and develop a plan that is acceptable to both you and your patients/clients.

You must create a free online account in order to take this training.