Mental Health First Aid
Virtual Training

Find out more by clicking on the headings below

Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training 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, and help connect them to the appropriate care.


Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack—we’d start CPR, or at the very least, call 9-1-1. But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack, or if we were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of alcoholism.


Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by teaching you how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen non judgmentally and give reassurance to someone who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.


Mental Health First Aid is an international training program that was created in Australia in 2000, brought to the U.S. in 2008, and is now in 24 countries around the world. Upon completing the course you will become a certified Mental Health First Aider which is valid for three years.

The course will cover:

  • The common signs and symptoms of mental illness
  • The common signs and symptoms of substance use
  • How to interact with a person in crisis
  • How to connect the person with help
  • Expanded content on trauma, addiction and self-care

The course will teach you how to apply the MHFA ALGEE Action Plan:

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

The course will help you:

  • Grow your knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illnesses and addictions.
  • Identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or addiction.
  • Increase your confidence in and likelihood of helping an individual in distress.
  • Show increased mental wellness yourself.

The course is delivered in two parts. The first is a 2-4 hour self-paced online course that must be completed prior to the second part which is a 6 hour virtual live instructor led session.


If you are using a laptop or desktop computer, it is recommended you access the self-paced portion using Google Chrome as your browser. If you do not currently have it on your computer you can download it at


You can also access the course from a mobile device by downloading the Cornerstone Learn App available in the app store.


The instructor led session will be held over Zoom which you will be able to access directly through the MHFA’s Cornerstone learning management system or through the Cornerstone Learn App. You must have a camera and microphone for this portion as it is interactive and you will be required to turn on your camera.

Go to to select the date and time you wish to attend the virtual live instructor led course, provide your contact information, and pay the registration fee of $125 with a credit card or through PayPal. You will receive confirmation of your registration from BTS. 


IATSE Members and those working under IATSE agreements may be eligible for Training Trust Fund reimbursement upon proof of successful completion of the course and are therefor not eligible for a scholarship.


Thanks to the generosity of the CHAUVET Professional ReSet Fund, a limited number of partial and full scholarships are available to individuals not eligible for reimbursement from the Training Trust Fund, or any other organization such as your employer, venue, or educational institution.


If you reside in Canada, training is available through the AFC at


As soon as we have five attendees for a class, we will register the class with the MHFA organization and you will receive a confirmation from them with instructions on how to access the self-study portion and the live virtual class.


New classes will be added to the schedule on a regular basis.


We will notify you a minimum of one week prior to the class if we have not reached the minimum requirement of five attendees and we will work with you to transfer your registration to a new date.


Transfer/Cancellation Policy

Over 7 days in advance

  • Transfer - full $125 registration fee applied to next class. Only one transfer allowed.
  • Cancel – refund of $100

3-7 days in advance

  • Transfer - $25 fee with $100 applied to next class ($150 total fee). Only one transfer allowed.
  • Cancel – refund of $75

Less than 3 days in advance

  • Transfer to another class - $75 fee required with $50 applied to next class ($200 total fee). Only one transfer allowed.
  • Cancel – no refund

The initial classes will be presented by Bryan Hunneycutt of HuneyBadger Entertainment Consulting. Bryan has over 30 years of experience in the live event production industry with a special focus on safety including a position as the Program Manager for Entertainment Safety for Disney Parks and Resorts Live Entertainment. He currently serves on the Steering Committee for the Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative and as the Chair of the USITT Health and Safety Commission.

 “It was a great basis for the different types of mental health struggles, and really addressed key points to consider when approaching those situations.”


“Between long hours, commutes, and high stress there are a lot of burdening factors and it was nice to know some tools to help bolster those we work with.”


“Being able to participate in this class, among others who are in the same industry and facilitated by someone who has decades of experience with the course material made a huge difference. Often, taking courses with a blend of people with varying vocations waters down the content and exercises. Having stories shared and dialogue that is geared towards my specific occupation and its uniqueness was a game changer.”


“Knowing how to notice and communicate about mental health issues or substance abuse is essential! Having the skill set and vocabulary to talk with others, or even process internally, helps us all make stronger and more effective connections.”


“I think this was detailed information to be able to make an informed decision as to how to assist someone who may need guidance or help.”

Read about one person’s experience with taking the training

Still have questions? Email [email protected]

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Behind the Scenes Foundation makes no representations or warranty whatsoever, either expressed or implied, regarding any information or advice provided by this training. In no event shall Behind the Scenes Foundation be liable to you or anyone else for any decision or action taken in reliance on information provided by this training.