Mental Health First Aid: Assist in a crisis

Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as CPR training helps a layperson without medical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

The evidence behind Mental Health First Aid demonstrates that it makes people feel more comfortable managing a crisis situation and helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness. Specifically, studies found that those who trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing help to others, greater likelihood of advising people to seek professional help, improved concordance with health professionals about treatments, and decreased stigmatizing attitudes.

Mental Health First Aid certification, which must be renewed every three years, provides trainees with:

  • Knowledge of the potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including: depression, anxiety/ trauma, psychosis and psychotic disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and self-injury
  • A 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to assess the situation, to select and implement appropriate interventions, and to help the individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional care
  • an understanding of the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need for reduced stigma in their communities¬†
  • Working knowledge of the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem treat and manage the problem and achieve recovery.

 

Info Corner

To find or schedule a Mental Health First Aid course in your area, you can contact Barry Groesch at Linden Oaks at (630) 527- 5481 or bgroesch@edward.org. Or visit the national website at www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org to find an instructor near you.