On March 19, 2016, Newsday‘s Laura Figueroa wrote a great story about the impact of Mental Health First Aid training for first responders. MHAW trainers have been providing Mental Health First Aid certified courses to teachers, care managers, youth and forensic workers, health and hospital “front line” staff, librarians, and more who have first-contact situations with people who may be experiencing mental and emotional distress.
As noted on its website, www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org, Mental Health First Aid teaches participants:
- The signs of addictions and mental illnesses
- A 5-step action plan to assess a situation and help
- The impact of mental and substance use disorders
- Local resources and where to turn for help
Like its physical health First Aid counterpart, Mental Health First Aid is for everyone: non-professionals and professionals alike. It is a safety-driven process but, along the way – as participants have noted – it takes the stigma and tension out of these encounters.
The feedback has been phenomenal from attendees. MHAW and our partners at Nassau MHA are available wherever an audience of up to 30 can convene. Unfortunately, until more grant funding is available, there is a modest fee (just as there is for Certified First Aid courses), but that shouldn’t get in the way.
Join the movement. Contact Alexis Rodgers, Coordinator for Community Outreach & Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 631-471-7242 x1315 to find out more, get information about upcoming training opportunities, or to schedule a course with your organization or company.