Orlando Health Launches Mental Health First Aid Training

Classes teach participants how to support those who may be experiencing a mental health challenge

Orlando, FL (May 2, 2024) – Orlando Health is now offering mental health first aid training to teach the common signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges as well as how to interact with a person in crisis.

The evidence-based, early-intervention course is administered by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and uses community-specific scenarios, activities and videos. The course also teaches participants how to provide initial support until those in need are connected with appropriate professional help. Participants are directed to call the crisis line 988 or 911 for emergency situations.

“By equipping our community with mental health support resources, we’re making an important investment in the health of Central Florida,” said Sara Osborne, senior director, Orlando Health Community Benefit. “This course not only helps address a critical need, but it also empowers participants and fosters an approach of empathy and resilience that will spread even beyond our area. We’re especially excited to be launching this program in May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.”

The Mental Health First Aid training course is designed for participants who have little or no medical training but may be able to provide initial support to someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Examples of those who participate are employers, coaches, teachers, police officers, hospital staff, first responders, parents and more.

The classes are free and open to the community, and participants must be 18 or older. Those interested can register here.

The program began as a result of Orlando Health Community Benefit’s Community Health Needs Assessment, which specifically identified mental health as a crucial need. Orlando Health is also slated to open a new 144-bed behavioral health hospital in Apopka in partnership with Acadia Healthcare in 2025.


About Orlando Health

Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $9.6 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States and Puerto Rico.

Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for Central Florida’s only pediatric and adult Level I Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level II Adult Trauma Center in Pinellas County. It is the home of one of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care units, one of the only systems in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health has pioneered life-changing medical research and its Graduate Medical Education program hosts more than 350 residents and fellows.

The 3,487-bed system includes 33 hospitals and emergency departments – 26 of which are currently operational with seven coming soon. The system also includes nine specialty institutes, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility under the management of Acadia Healthcare, and more than 375 outpatient facilities that include physician clinics, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with CareSpot Urgent Care. More than 4,950 physicians, representing more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs more than 29,000 team members and more than 1,400 physicians.

In FY 23, Orlando Health cared for 197,000 inpatients and 6.6 million outpatients.  The healthcare system provided nearly $1.3 billion in total impact to the communities it serves in the form of community benefit programs and services, Medicare shortfalls, bad debt, community-building activities and capital investments in FY 22, the most recent period for which this information is available.

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