Mental Health First Aid reached the national stage this week in the Presidents message. This week’s Now is the Time document developed by the Fed’s advocates expanding Mental Health First Aid Training for teachers and adults who work with kids. The proposal also includes funding to help identified children and teens find treatment if they need it.
Mental Health First Aid is a new, evidence-based interactive 12-hour course designed to teach people a five-step process to assess a situation, select and implement appropriate interventions and help a person in crisis or who may be developing the signs and symptoms of mental illness. The groundbreaking training equips people to provide initial help until appropriate professional, peer or family support can be engaged. Participants also learn about risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses such as anxiety, depression, psychosis and addiction. There’s also a new Youth Course for folks that work with kids between 12 and 18.
We launched Mental Health First Aid in the spring of 2011 to increase the number of people who can help intervene when someone may be in need of mental health help. So far the initiative’s participants have trained almost 1,800 people across the state as Mental Health First Aiders. If you or your team want to get involved and certified as a Mental Health First Aider can visit the Mental Health First Aid website and even find an instructor in your community. Simply go to the website above, put in your city and zip code, along with the diameter in miles that you want to search- and you can find the Trainers we trained in 2011 that can help bring your team up to speed.