Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack — even if you have no clinical training — Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. The extension of first aid training to cover mental health problems and crises is a recent development. The first mental health first aid training course was developed in Australia by Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm in 2001. This training course has spread to a number of other countries (Bermuda, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, United States, Wales).

Mental Health First Aid teaches a five-step action plan, known as ALGEE, for individuals to provide help to someone who may be in crisis. 
Assess for risk of suicide or harm
Listen nonjudgmentally
Give reassurance and information
Encourage appropriate professional help
Encourage self-help and other support strategies

The mental health first aid guidelines were originally developed by Mental Health First Aid Australia using the Delphi Method.   The Delphi Method is a systematic way of assessing the consensus of an international expert panel.  The guidelines consist of first aid actions that have been rated as important or essential by expert panels of professionals, consumers and care givers.  For more information click on a topic below. (from Mental Heath First Aid Canada)