Mental Health First Aid



Pharmacists and pharmacy team members are more likely to need to respond to a mental health episode than to a situation requiring basic life support or CPR. Mental Health First Aid training, therefore, could be considered more important than CPR training.

Consider this situation:

You are preparing to administer a routine vaccination to a male patient in your pharmacy's closed-door medication administration room. The patient requested the vaccine himself and jokingly noted being a little nervous around needles. After explaining the procedure to him, you begin to prepare the immunization at the counter in the room. When you turn around to administer the needle, you see that the young man's face is flushed, and he is shaking in his chair and breathing heavily. Alarmed, you ask him if he needs help, but he says nothing, staring at the needle in your hand, looking frightened. He grips the side of the table and tries to stand, but falls to the ground, breathing hard and shaking all over.

Are you and your staff members prepared for a panic attack to happen in your pharmacy? This is an actual case written specifically for pharmacy audiences to be used in the Mental Health First Aid curriculum.

Mental Health First Aid training is an 8-hour, in-person program designed to train you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid has already been taught to over a million people in the US.

NCPA created pharmacy specific cases like the one above with support from the Community Pharmacy Foundation to help you better care for patients in your pharmacy who are struggling with mental illness. Find a course near you at

For additional information about Mental Health First Aid check out: