MHF Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions

I know that the Mental Health Facilitator (MHF) program and NBCC are connected, but I was wondering how exactly they are related?

The National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates (NBCC) created the MHF program through the International Capacity Building department of its Foundation and Professional Services division. The International Capacity Building department administers the program internationally.

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.

My university is interested in referring students to this program. 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.

I know several groups who are interested in these trainings. What does the MHF training include?

MHF trainings vary somewhat based on the curriculum being used for the training. There are currently four MHF curricula available: the 30 hour MHF, the 1-day MHF-ASAP!, the 24-hour MHF-Educator's Edition (MHF-EE), and the 1-day MHF-Express Educator's Edition (MHF-EEE).

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 and the abridged MHF-EEE curriculum are geared towards those working with children in schools.

We are ready to sign up! 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.

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.

This training seems very useful. What do MHFs do for the community after they have been trained?

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.

I have a friend that is in an advanced mental health training program. The MHF looks similar. 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.

After I have completed the MHF training will I be able to do the same work that professional counselors and other mental health professionals do? 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.

After initial training, do I need to complete continuing education to remain on the registry?

You do not need additional training. If you have the opportunity to learn more from a mental health professional, we encourage you to do so.

My university is very interested, but how do we know that this program is effective? Will outcome research be conducted to determine the effectiveness?

Published outcome research includes program effectiveness in Malawi and Uganda. In addition, further outcome research is currently being conducted.”

I am trained and ready to put my skills into action. Where do MHF registrants work?

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

I would love to distribute some of this information to my colleagues and pursue the opportunity myself. How do I take MHF training or find an MHF in my community?

Please contact the International Capacity Building department of NBCC’s Foundation and Professional Services division at to inquire about training opportunities and partnership possibilities.