Mental Health Awareness

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and wellbeing, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. This page provides a list of training programs and resources to help increase your understanding, awareness and to help develop skills to intervene and support someone who is struggling. 

Mental Health First Aid Training

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 (MHFA) is a skills-based training that teaches supervisors and peers the skills to identify and help a colleague, or student who is presenting a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The one-day course is provided through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. It has been proven highly effective through peer-reviewed research. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds mental health literacy, helping peers identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness. Studies also have shown that the program reduces stigma by bridging the social distance created by negative attitudes and perceptions of individuals with mental illnesses.

The USG continues to offer MHFA training online for faculty, staff, and students. 

2 hours of self-paced online pre-work
6 hours of instructor-led online training

Sign up at

Kognito - Conversations Can Change Lives

Have you ever been worried about a student or friend on campus? Faculty, staff, and students are in an ideal position to recognize when someone is struggling emotionally and may need help. Kognito is a 45-minute online simulation that lets you practice conversations with a virtual student, so you’ll know what to say in real life. VSU is making this program available to faculty, staff, and students to help create a safer and more supportive campus.

To access this free resource, visit and sign in with your VSU email and password. Based on your campus role, you will see either the At-Risk for Students or At-Risk for Faculty & Staff course.

For more information about these programs, email

Suicide Prevention Training

Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) are the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. It doesn't take a health professional to prevent suicide - you're qualified! Sponsored by the University System of Georgia's Mental Health Initiative, QPR training is available free to all students, faculty, and staff within USG. The 1.5-hour training session includes didactic instruction, role-play exercises, and time for questions.

Registration link

Mental Health: Recognize and Respond for Managers

Our working lives can have a powerful influence on our mental state and, as leaders in a demanding and high-pressured world, it is essential that we develop the confidence and competence to identify individuals at risk and intervene in an appropriate and effective way. The aim of this session is to help you to recognize signs of concern and respond appropriately.

Free one-hour virtual training. For dates go to

At the end of this session participants will be able to:

•Emphasize why mental health awareness is important
•Understand mental health and different conditions
•Recognize signs of concern
•Establish strategies for having a conversation with an employee in need of support
•Learn how to manage in a crisis


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