Peters Cosponsors Bill Expanding Mental Health First Aid Training

Bipartisan Legislation Would Help Individuals Recognize Symptoms of Mental Illness


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced he has cosponsored bipartisan legislation to expand mental health first aid training programs to help people recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness. The Mental Health First Act of 2015 would establish a grant program to train emergency first responders, police officers and law enforcement, teachers and school administrators, and health care professionals, and others in the community to better identify mental illness, safely de-escalate crisis situations and initiate timely referral to mental health services in the developing stages of mental disorders.

 “Nearly one in five Americans experience some form of mental illness, and helping community members better identify symptoms and address crisis situations is critical to keeping our communities safer and supporting individuals experiencing a mental health episode,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation that will promote mental health training and help connect individuals with mental illness to the care that they need.” 

The Mental Health First Act of 2015 would establish a grant program within the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for states, local governments, and nonprofit entities to initiate and sustain mental health first aid training programs.