LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Would you be able to help in a CPR crisis situation but not a mental health crisis? Arkansas BlueCross BlueShield is looking to change that.

The institution announced “Take Good Care: Mental Health First Aid,” where dozens of mental health first aid classes will be offered around the state free of charge.

According to a press release, participants do not need to be Arkansas Blue Cross members. Classes will reportedly be taught by instructors with the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, providing certification through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

“For years, we have been committed to addressing behavioral health needs and normalizing the conversation around mental health in Arkansas,” said Arkansas Blue Cross President and CEO Curtis Barnett. “As we enter our 75th year of serving Arkansans, we have a goal of providing this important training to at least 750 people statewide. We believe knowing mental health first aid is as important as knowing CPR and can save lives.”

According to a release, through the course, participants will learn how to recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in adults ages 18 and older, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate care if necessary. Topics covered will reportedly include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions.

Participants seeking certification will complete two hours of online pre-work, followed by
a six-hour, in-person class with lunch provided.

Classes will be offered each month, through September, in Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs, Texarkana, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, Rogers, and Fort Smith. More classes will be added in the coming weeks in additional communities, BlueCross BlueShield says.

To find a schedule of classes and complete the free online registration, visit