Presence Health
Presence Health and Chicago Department of Public Health Partner on Mental Health First Aid Program

In Response to Chicago’s Need to Be Trauma-Informed
City Leaders Offered Training to Help Those with Mental Health Issues
Presence Health and Chicago Department of Public Health Partner on Mental Health First Aid Program

(Chicago) Today, Presence Health announced that it will provide City of Chicago and Community leadership free access to a specialized program in both English and Spanish called Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). MHFA is an evidence-based curriculum intended to help Chicago’s 50 aldermen and their staffs as well as other public-facing community leaders and members such as clergy, teachers, librarians, paramedics and neighborhood volunteers identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

In response to shootings and acts of violence in Chicago, as well as mental health being identified as a critical issue in its Community Health Needs Assessment, Presence Health chose to introduce the MHFA curriculum to community leaders and public officials.  The program is designed to be in concert with the City of Chicago’s efforts to be a trauma-informed city and provide a way to help connect persons in need of mental health services with the best treatment and care resources available.

MHFA also prepares elected officials to become better advocates for community mental health needs and potential policy solutions. Funding for Presence Health to offer the MHFA training comes from several philanthropic organizations.

During the eight-hour, certificate training participants…

  • Learn to identify potential risk factors and warning signs for mental health problems.
  • Gain an understanding of the prevalence of various mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Develop a 5-step action plan to help someone with a mental health problem or in crisis.
  • Connect to evidence-based resources available to help with mental health conditions.

“Healthy Chicago 2.0, the public health plan for city, identified making Chicago a trauma-informed city as a priority. Because Chicago’s aldermen and their staff often encounter community members needing assistance, we were pleased to partner with Presence Health to make this Mental Health First Aid training program available to them,“ noted City of Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D.  “The city’s law enforcement mental health steering committee, which consists of representatives from CPD, CFD, OEMC, CDPH, hospitals, and community mental health providers was supportive of this initiative.”

“We want to equip and empower our public officials and community leaders with the skills and understanding needed to safely identify and address a major health need. Mental Health First Aid training is a first step in working together to create healthier and safer communities throughout Chicago,” commented Presence Health Vice President, External Affairs Will Snyder.

Media Invited to MHFA Session


  • Friday, August 5, 2016


  • Presence Health System Office at 200 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606, Training Rooms A&B



About Presence Health
Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system based in Illinois. With more than 150 sites of care, including 12 hospitals, Presence Health has more than 20,000 employees, 4,000 medical professionals and a revenue base of $2.5 billion.

Not Featured Story