Mental Health First Aid is now available to the general public and you can be someone who gets it!
1 in 5 Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. For friends, family members, or co-workers it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get them until it is too late.
Just as CPR helps people without clinical training to assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. This is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. Mental Health First Aid is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).
Community Mental Health of Ottawa County is dedicated to providing the community with tools to help respond to someone who is having a mental health crisis, providing information about local resources, and reducing stigma about mental health. A certified Mental Health First Aid Trainer is available through our agency. Faith based organizations, rotaries, or local businesses, would all be great venues to host a training.
If you are interested in attending a Mental Health First Aid training or hosting a training please contact:
Angie Schultz, LLMSW
Community Education Specialist
Ottawa County Community Mental Health
12265 James Street
Holland, MI 49424