San Mateo County Libraries to Offer Mental Health First Aid Trainings

Courses Teach How to Help Identify, Understand and Respond to People in Crisis

Media Contact:

Katie Woods
San Mateo County Libraries
(650) 556-5209

SAN MATEO COUNTY, CA — San Mateo County Libraries will begin offering Mental Health First Aid trainings to the public in August. The courses teach people how to help respond to someone having a mental health or substance use-related crisis.

Many of us know what to do when we see signs of a heart attack – we can perform CPR and call 911. But what about when we see a panic attack? Mental Health First Aid, made available by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, asks and answers this question with research and evidence-based training.

In the course, participants will learn how to identify, understand and respond to someone in mental health crisis and provide initial help and support. Over 130 of our San Mateo County Libraries staff have already been trained in Mental Health First Aid, opens a new window, and three of our staff will lead the trainings as certified instructors.

San Mateo County Libraries is committed to making mental health resources available to connect people to the support they need.

"We are thrilled that our local libraries will offer these trainings to the public," said Sara McDowell, Library Governing Board Chair and San Carlos City Councilmember. "Mental health challenges have broadly impacted our communities; many of us know someone personally who has struggled. It is critically important for us all to learn easy tools to recognize someone in mental distress, know what to say and how to put them in touch with resources. To carry these skills is empowering – for us as individuals and for our community."

The free courses will be provided in person at four of our libraries: Millbrae, Belmont, Half Moon Bay and San Carlos. Each course is eight hours, and will be offered in four-hour sessions over two days. Registration is required and participants must attend both days to complete the training.

Each course will take place over two days on the weekend from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM:

If you are interested in learning more about mental health issues and better equipping yourself to help others experiencing mental health challenges, register for a Mental Health First Aid session today.


About San Mateo County Libraries
San Mateo County Libraries is a Joint Powers Authority that operates libraries in the communities of Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, East Palo Alto, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Millbrae, North Fair Oaks, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Carlos and Woodside. San Mateo County Libraries ignite growth through transformative experiences. Visit for information about our community libraries, extensive digital and physical collections, innovative services, and numerous online resources and virtual programs and events.