Why Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that can help communities understand mental illnesses, seek timely intervention, and save lives. The core program, delivered to more than 100,000 people across the country through a network of 3,000+ instructors, has already saved lives and brought hope to many.
One in five Americans has a mental illness and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect — even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment – which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. As a society, we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, and we ignore our role as responsible community members to help people experiencing these illnesses.
What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Mental Health First Aid is a live training course, which uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect persons to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources.
Mental Health First Aid allows for early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” Participants are introduced to local mental health professionals and resources, national organizations, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addiction treatment and support.
Mental Health First Aid demystifies mental illnesses and gives participants the capacity to obtain, process, and understand the health information and services needed to make appropriate decisions and seek care. Read more about the program in our latest edition of National Council Magazine.
Reach and Audiences
In 2008, the National Council for Behavioral Health brought Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. As of June 2013, more than 100,000 persons in communities across the country have been trained as Mental Health First Aiders through a network of 3,000 certified instructors.
Mental Health First Aid has been taught to a variety of audiences, including health, human services, and social workers; employers and business leaders; faith community leaders; college and university staff and faculty; law enforcement and public safety officials; veterans and family members; persons with mental illness-addictions and their families; and the general public. New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and other major cities and counties have adopted Mental Health First Aid as a proven strategy to engender healthier communities by training large groups of public health and public safety workers, government and social services staff, and other caring citizens. Certified instructors teach the program in communities across the United States.
MHMRCV offers Mental Health First Aid classes:
Courses are taught by Certified Instructors. Each course is either Face-to-Face or Virtual.
Contact: Kristie Carroll at KCarroll@mhmrcv.org or call 325.658.7750.
Location: 1501 W. Beauregard San Angelo, TX 76901
Spots are limited to 30 Face-to-Face and 15 for Virtual.