Mental Health First Aid was created in 2001 by Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education, and Anthony Jorm, a mental health literacy professor. Kitchener and Jorm run Mental Health First Aid™ Australia, a national non-profit health promotion charity focused on training and research. More information on the history of the course is available at Mental Health First Aid Australia.
The United States is just one of the many countries that have adapted the program from Australia. Check out the countries at Mental Health First Aid International.