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Learning How to Respond in a Mental Health Crisis

 

Traditional first aid and CPR training have been community resources for years. But do you know how mental-health-first-aid-3d-crosswordto respond if you ran into someone exhibiting unusual behavior such as severe anxiety, panic, hearing voices that you can’t hear or seeing images that you can’t see? Would you know what to do? Would you know how to help?

Mental Health First Aid is an approach being offered throughout the U.S. and here locally by MHR.

 

 

 

If you saw somebody with an open wound or found someone unresponsive, you would likely know to apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding or begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until emergency personnel arrived.

Many people feel prepared and confident in their ability to step in and offer first aid to a person in need of physical care. Few people have the same confidence in their ability to identify and help someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

With one in five adults experiencing mental illness each year, there is a need for individuals and communities to develop a better understanding of mental illness and addiction. Similar to CPR, individuals should be able to develop the first response skill-set necessary to identify and respond to an individual experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid is a program designed to provide exactly that type of education.

Mental Health and Recovery for Licking and Knox Counties (MHR) is sending two individuals to five day course to become certified trainers in Mental Health First Aid.

Upon completion of the training MHR will offer free training sessions for local organizations interested in taking a more proactive approach in helping to recognize and assist individuals experiencing the symptoms of mental health crisis.

Trainees are taught how to apply a five-step strategy in a variety of situations, such as helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, or assisting an individual who has overdosed. An important component of the Mental Health First Aid training is the opportunity to practice the intervention strategy rather than to just learn about it.

This training is well suited for clergy, school teachers, medical professionals, custodial staff or anyone who interacts with people in a regular basis.

For more information about free Mental Health First Aid training being offered to your organization contact Kay Spergel at 740-522-1234 or Penny Sitler at 740-522-1341.