Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT)

About the SACADA MHAT Project

Mental Health Awareness Training logo
SACADA is providing Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training to school personnel, emergency first responders, law enforcement, and other community members who can provide referrals to mental health services. Our population of focus for which the training is intended to help is school-age youth, adults with serious mental illness/disturbance, and the public.

Focus Area

The 28 Counties of Texas Region 8

SACADA specifically serves the entirety of region 8 of Texas Department of State Health Services which includes 28 counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Calhoun, Comal, DeWitt, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Jackson, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, La Salle, Lavaca, Maverick, Medina, Real, Uvalde, Val Verde, Victoria, Wilson, Zavala

Youth Mental Health First Aid &
Adult Mental Health First Aid

Youth MHFA teaches adults how to identify signs and respond if children/youth are experiencing a mental health illness or serious emotional disturbance.


Adult MHFA trains adults in how to identify signs and respond if someone may be experiencing a mental health illness or serious emotional disturbance.


The curricula is established and facilitated by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. All costs associated with tuition and training are covered by our MHAT grant.


Courses are offered both in-person and online. Either course is 8 hours long and feature hands-on activities and practice, ALGEE, the 5-step action plan and an overview of local mental health resources, support groups and other help.

Meet Our SACADA Trainer

Marcus Kavanaugh

Marcus Kavanaugh

Marcus Kavanaugh is the Public Relations Coordinator for the Prevention Resource Center (PRC)-Region 8. With over 20 years of military service as a Healthcare Professional working with adults with physical, behavioral, and mental health matters and a background in Health and Wellness Promotion. Marcus is a certified Adult Mental Health First Aid coordinator.

Upcoming Classes

More trainings will be posted soon.

Each training virtual training requires 2 hours of pre-course work which must be completed before the training date in order for participant to become certified.


Adult Mental Health First Aid- Last day to register is 5 days before event date. 




Youth Mental Health First Aid-Last day to register is 5 days before event date. 




You can also register for any of the following dates by emailing Marcus Kavanaugh at Organizations who are interested in hosting their own training can do so as long as there are at least 10 or more people.  Inquiries for such training can email Marcus Kavanaugh at

Interested in Becoming a Trainer?

SACADA is pleased to establish collaborative partnerships by providing five agencies within Region 8 to become certified to train MHFA for adults or youth. If you are interested, contact Marcus Kavanaugh at, or complete our MHFA Instructor Candidate Form below.


The trainer spots for 2022 have been filled and we will be recruiting more starting October 2022. Those interested are still encourage to fill out an application form and will be contacted in October 2022.

Crisis Intervention Training & More

Our mission is to train emergency personnel, first responders and veterans on de-escalation techniques developed by SAMHSA or other HHS agencies. Curriculum being developed now.

Did You Make a Mental Health Referral?

If you shared a resource, talked to someone about mental health services, we want to hear from you! For data collection purposes, please take this 30 second survey »

Mental Health Resources and Service Provider Directory

Download the: MHAT Community Resources Directory





American Psychiatric Association Answer Center
1-888-35-PSYCH (77924)


American Psychological Association of Public Education Line


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)


The Trevor Project


National Cancer Institute Smoking Quitline
1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848)


Smoking Cessation Centers
1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)

Click to View Interactive Region 8 Resource Map