WARSAW — On Oct. 14, 2021, Purdue Extension – Kosciusko County will offer Mental Health First Aid training at their office in downtown Warsaw.
This groundbreaking eight-hour training course which includes two hours of pre-work online and six hours of in-person instruction gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary.
The program was offered in March 2019 and as a result, 78% of the participants strongly agreed they could assist a person who may be dealing with a mental health problem or crisis to see professional help.
For more information, contact Kelly Heckaman at (574) 372-2340 or [email protected]. To register for the upcoming Mental Health First Aid training in Warsaw, visithttps://cvent.me/2KyqxE. Registration deadline is Sept. 30, and the $20 registration fee includes lunch and workbook.
One in five 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 and family members, 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.
“Mental Health First Aid is a course to educate individuals about how to interact with and support someone who may be developing a mental health issue or experiencing a crisis,” said Kelly Heckaman, Agriculture & Natural Resources extension coordinator for Purdue Extension Kosciusko County. “This course is available to any interested adult. Participants do not have to have a background in mental health to participate.”
Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.
“Through this program, we hope to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. in 2008. “When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need.”
In just 10 years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States—more than one million people are certified mental health first aiders, and that number is growing every day.
“The number one need that I hear folks in our community talk about is regarding mental health. Mental Health First Aid allows regular people; friends, neighbors, sisters, co-workers, to recognize the signs of a mental health illness and to reach out and be a bridge for that person to receive hope and support,” said Tonya Short, Health & Human Sciences educator for Purdue Extension – Knox County.