If your partner, spouse, child, friend, or colleague gets bronchitis or requires surgery or cancer treatment, you can quickly list off the first five things you would do to be of support.

But do you know what you are seeing when someone is suffering from mental illness, perhaps having an episode of depression or in the midst of a panic attack? Would you know how to guide or support your loved one or friend if he or she was heavily misusing substances? Would you know how to understand what you were seeing and what steps to take if your loved one or friend was having an episode of mania or constricted by overwhelming symptoms of OCD? And if you saw someone in your community who was having an episode of psychosis, would you know what steps to take?

Mental Health First Aid teaches a five-step action plan to offer initial help to anyone showing signs of mental health distress, severe illness or mental health crisis, and then connect them with the appropriate professional peer, social, or self-help care.

Throughout the year, JFS partners with a myriad of Jewish community organizations, synagogues and schools to host MHFA trainings in their settings. The eight-hour training equips participants with essential knowledge about many mental illnesses and most importantly, offers a protocol for supporting someone who is suffering. During the eight hours of training, participants are taught to recognize and understand the various diseases of the brain that afflict so many.

Sometimes, the best first aid is you. Take a course, save a life, strengthen our Jewish community.  JFS Houston has as its goal the training of every adult in our community in Mental Health First Aid.

Sign-Up Here

A person you know could be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis, You can help them.

You are more likely to encounter someone — friend, family member, neighbor, or member of the community — in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack. Mental Health First Aid teaches a 5-step action plan to offer initial help to people showing signs of a mental illness or in a crisis, and connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self help care. Anyone can take the Mental Health First Aid course.

Sometimes, the best first aid is you.
Take the course, save a life, strengthen your community.


Please fill out this form to register for the training.

Adult Mental Health First Aid
(for adults whom may encounter an Adult)

Youth Mental Health First Aid
(for parents and professional who have contact with youth ages 12-18)




Meet our Trainers

Gittel Francis, LMSW

Mental Health Programs Coordinator
Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer
Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Janet Pozmantier

Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer
Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Guy Cohen 

 Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Holly Davies 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Karen Skolnik 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Kathy Dreyfus 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Lisa Brooks 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Lorraine Jacobs 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Marcy Margolis  

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Nicki Nachenberg  

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Penny Pershell 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Rabbi Chaim Lazaroff  

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Rachel Kosoy 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Ron Oppenheimer 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Shari Fish 

Adult Mental Health First Aid Trainer

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Please contact Gittel Francis at gfrancis@jfshouston.org, or 713-986-7812 if you would like additional information about Mental Health First Aid