FAQs for the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF)

  1. What is the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program’s connection to NBCC?
  2. Does this program create a new profession?
  3. What are the advantages of MHF training?
  4. What does MHF training include?
  5. What is MHF registration and what are the requirements?
  6. Will I be able to call myself an MHF after I complete the training?
  7. What can MHFs do for the community?
  8. The MHF training looks similar to more advanced mental health training, such as counseling. How is it different?
  9. Can MHFs compete with other mental health providers?
  10. Will I need additional training?
  11. Will outcome research be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the trainers and the program?
  12. Where do MHF registrants work?
  13. How do I take MHF training or find an MHF in my community?

1. What is the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program’s connection to NBCC?

The National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates (NBCC) created the MHF program through its division, NBCC International (NBCC-I), which administers the program.

2. Does this program create a new profession?

The MHF program does not create a new profession. Rather, it is a training curriculum and registry program to complement existing mental health resources within a community by training first responders.

3. What are the advantages of MHF training?

MHF training teaches fundamental mental health knowledge and skills, including response and referral. Individuals who come into contact with people in their work—especially vulnerable populations (e.g., children, older adults) or people in tenuous situations (e.g., refugees, victims of disasters)—can apply this knowledge to better assess, assist, and assign or refer to a mental health professional when needed.

4. What does MHF training include?

MHF trainings vary somewhat based on the curriculum being used for the training. There are currently three MHF curricula available: the 30-hour MHF, the 24-hour MHF-Educator’s Edition (MHF-EE), and the 8-hour MHF-ASAP! All trainings are taught by qualified registered program trainers. All MHF curricula include helping skills, working with integrity, diversity, trauma, suicide prevention, referral and consultation. The MHF-ASAP! curriculum includes these topics in an abridged form. The MHF-EE curriculum is geared toward working with children in schools.

5. What is MHF registration and what are the requirements?

Individuals who complete the full training for an MHF curriculum automatically join the MHF registry. This is the only way to achieve MHF registration.

6. Will I be able to call myself an MHF after I complete the training?

"MHF” is an abbreviation for “Mental Health Facilitator.” It is not a professional designation, such as a professional license or certification. While it is OK to refer to yourself informally as an MHF, it is not acceptable to include the letters after your name.

7. What can MHFs do for the community?

Mental health is one of the most neglected aspects of health care. Individuals with MHF training complement existing resources in a community by helping anyone who appears to have a mental health–related problem. They can also use their knowledge of community resources for referral purposes and to advocate for others.

8. The MHF training looks similar to more advanced mental health training, such as counseling. How is it different?

The MHF training introduces basic mental health concepts and helping skills to trainees. It does not have the breadth or depth of more advanced mental health training, such as that which leads to an academic degree, professional certification or license to practice.

9. Can MHFs compete with other mental health providers?

MHFs do not compete with other mental health providers. They complement existing resources and refer individuals to mental health providers as appropriate. Referral skills training is part of all MHF curricula.

10. Will I need additional training?

If you have the opportunity to learn more from a mental health professional, we encourage you to do so. In addition, the NBCC-I Web site offers online MHF modules to help you learn more about various topics. These modules are free for MHFs and will help you expand your knowledge of topics that are important in your role as a Mental Health Facilitator.

11. Will outcome research be conducted to determine the effectiveness of the trainers and the program?

NBCC-I is currently conducting outcome research as part of its quality control procedures.

12. Where do MHF registrants work?

MHFs work in a wide variety of settings, such as schools, hospitals, clinics, colleges and universities, daycare centers and orphanages, community centers, and many others.

13. How do I take MHF training or find an MHF in my community?

Please contact NBCC-I at nbccinternational@nbcc.org with any questions.