Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid Transcript

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is offering free Mental Health First Aid training to all New Yorkers as part of ThriveNYC

My name is Maria Grazia-Servone and I am the coordinator for community learning and development for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

In New York, 1 in 5 individuals will experience a mental health issue in any given year. Think about your family, your neighbors, your friends, your coworkers, anybody may experience a mental health issue at any given time. A lot of times it's not that people do not want to help or intervene; a lot of times people don't have the tools or they don't know how to help.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Grazia Servone and I work here at the New York City Department of Health…

Mental health first aid is an 8-hour course that teaches participants the early signs and symptoms of the most common mental health illnesses, such as depression, anxiety, psychosis.

And we're going to learn how to apply the action plan for depression and anxiety.

To be able to come and participate in this training, you really don't need to have any knowledge of mental health issues or substance use issues. Anybody can sign up, anybody can come in.

Hi, my name is Karen. I'm a program manager with a Back to Work program.

We have people from all walks of life. Sometimes we have psychiatrists in a class as well as social workers together with dog-walkers, or perhaps dancers on Broadway.

I'm an actor from the Broadway community. And I just want to be able to help people.

I think that's what's great about this training, that it really touches everyone in New York City and anybody can benefit from it.

And what I'm going to ask the rest of the class to do is think about some of the signs and symptoms of depression and/or anxiety.

We talk about physical symptoms, behavioral symptoms, psychological symptoms.

Fear? Always fatigued?
Fear. Fatigue. Those are good.

This is a very interactive course. There's a lot of role-playing, there's group activities.
Oh, your little guy looks really worried.

Okay, you guys who are up there, we'd like you to just stay where you are. The people who are sitting…

So mental health first aid is a toolkit we want to make available to everybody in the community.

Thank you. Give yourselves a handclap. You did a good job.

Think about it: 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health issue in any given year. We all know more than five people. Think about your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors, your family. Everybody will have a chance at one point to use what they've learned during this course.

We also know it starts with us. At home. We always talk about who's going to do the work. It has to start with us.

Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid courses are offered on a regular basis

Trainings are also offered for Public Safety Officials, Veterans and Military Families, Higher Education, and Older Adults

I think everybody should take this training whether you're a professional or not.

It was extremely empowering because when you're dealing with mental health issues a lot of the time you don't know what to say and how to confront different individuals. It's off-putting, right? It's a stigma behind it. And they demystified that stigma. I feel empowered to make a difference in my community, and in my employer. And also for myself, I learned some tools to actually, to help be self-aware of when I might be having mental health issues and to go and get help. So I really enjoyed it. I would recommend it, I'm going to recommend it to everybody.

Come on, give him a round of applause.


This is a very exciting time to be a New Yorker. We've developed this great mental health toolkit for you. Come take this course with us. It's free, three times a week here at the Department of Health, and you can also request for us to come to you. We'd be happy to come teach this course and give you this great resource.

To register for a Mental Health First Aid training go to