Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT)

About the HCCADA MHAT Project

Mental Health Awareness Training logo
HCCADA 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

HCCADA 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 Trainers

Gyna Juarez

Gyna Juarez

Gyna Juarez has been in the substance misuse prevention field since 2003. She has been facilitating trainings since 2011. She’s a statewide trainer for the Substance Abuse Prevention Skills Training, Prevention Ethics and Advanced Prevention Ethics. She’s excited to be a newly trained Adult MHFA 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.

Jennifer M Reyna

Jennifer M. Reyna

With a background in Psychology and Health and prior experience in working with at-risk youth, Jennifer is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Jennifer’s current position at SACADA is the Mental Health Education Coordinator and is the point of contact for SACADA’s MHAT grant.

Upcoming Classes

Each training virtual training requires 2 hours of pre-course work which must be completed before the training date.


Adult Mental Health First Aid

Thursday, June 16, 9am – 4pm Virtual 
Monday, June 20, 9am – 4pm Virtual
Thursday, June 30, 9am – 4pm Virtual
Monday, July 18, 9am – 4pm Virtual
Monday, July 25, 9am – 4pm Virtual



Youth Mental Health First Aid

Monday, May 23, 9 am- 4pm Virtual
Monday, June 13, 9 am- 4pm Virtual
Monday, June 20, 9am – 4pm Virtual


You can also register for any of the following dates by emailing Jennifer Reyna 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 Jennifer at

Interested in Becoming a Trainer?

HCCADA 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 Jennifer Reyna 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


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)

View Our Interactive Region 8 MHAT Resource Map:

Interactive Region 8 MHAT Resource Map