How to Help a Heart: Get Certified Today!

Whether you see a stranger collapse on your 1 AM stroll back from Homer Babbage, or if your gut is telling you that you should be concerned about the mental health of a friend, it can be frightening to find yourself in a situation where you aren’t quite sure what to do.

An emergency can happen at any time and any place. The occurrence of a crisis is scary as it is, and feeling helpless and unsure of what to do next can make an already terrible experience feel infinitely worse. Fortunately, UConn offers a variety of health-related training and certificate programs. All of the programs offered are affordable, even on a tight student budget, as they are all either free or heavily discounted when compared to the rates charged by Red Cross and the American Heart Association for hands-on training.

Each of these programs is designed to educate students on how to approach emergencies. Even if you never encounter a medical emergency, these courses are highly empowering and can help foster a strong sense of confidence overall. Each of these courses is limited to 18 people, so you can enjoy an intimate and personalized learning experience. These certifications are also excellent skills to include on your resume, as employers value the safety of their employees and your presence will promote workplace safety laws, and thus boost your chance of landing the job you’ve had your eye on.

Ask, Listen, Refer Suicide Prevention Training:

This program is offered by Student Health and Wellness and is a free online training program designed to help faculty, staff, and students prevent suicide, the second leading cause of death for college-aged students. This highly educational program only takes 20 minutes to complete, and it teaches trainees how to identify the warning signs associated with suicide, people who are at risk for a suicide attempt, and how to respond and help those considering taking their lives.*

Cost: FREE
Location: Online

*If  you are considering suicide or if you are concerned for the safety of a loved one, Call 1-800-273-8255 (Suicide prevention lifeline) or text CONNECT to 741741 (Crisis Text Line)

To obtain a certification in Ask, Listen, Refer Suicide Prevention Training, visit

CPR/AED Programs:

Between the all you can eat dining halls, the infamous Buffalo Chicken Grab-n-Gos, and late-night Domino’s orders, it’s easy to understand why gaining the “Freshman 15” is a common concern on campus. Unfortunately, overeating foods low in nutrients are associated with weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels. These health phenomena are associated with heart complications. Drinking, smoking (OR JUULING), misusing medications, chronic stress and anxiety are also prevalent issues on college campuses and also increase the chance of a heart attack. Luckily, UConn offers three Heartsaver CPR/AED classes.

First Aid – Heartsaver First Aid (No CPR/AED) Class: This class is intended for students seeking their First Aid certification for employment or general knowledge. This class is suitable for students seeking a first-time certification, or for students looking to renew an expired or soon-to-be expired First Aid certification. Accidents are the leading cause of death for college-aged students, and this course covers how to respond to health concerns such as bleeding, burns, poisoning, shock, choking, and respiratory emergencies.

Heartsaver CPR/AED Class and Renewal: This class is intended for students seeking certification for their general knowledge, employment, or certification renewal. 


Basic Life Support For Healthcare Providers CPR/AED: This class is specialized for the initial certification of prospective healthcare providers. This course is required for students in the school of nursing.  


Basic Life Support For Healthcare Providers CPR/AED Renewal: This class is specialized for students who have previously completed a CPR/AED Program and are looking to renew their certification. 


Cost: $45 – $47.50**

Location: Koons Hall


**The average market cost for a CPR/AED class is between $85 and $115 per person. If you are looking for a cheaper option, online CPR classes range from $15-$55, however, online training programs do not typically grant workplace certification or provide hands-on practice.

To register for CPR/AED, and/or First Aid Courses, visit

Fun Fact: In 2019, UConn was designated as a HEARTSafe campus by the American Heart Association and the Connecticut Department of Public Health Office of Emergency Medical Services. 

Stop the Bleed – Bleeding Control Basics Course:

The Stop the Bleed campaign was created by the Obama administration in 2015. The program trains students on how to respond to life-threatening bleeding in an emergency. There is no medical or training or experience necessary to join the course, and Stop the Bleed certifications are good for life.

Cost: FREE
Location: TBA

To register for Stop the Bleed Courses, visit

By Hannah Clark
Hannah Clark Hannah Clark