A big thank you to Greenbush who just provided about 55 of us with a new kind of First Aid training – Mental Health First Aid. It sure was a lot of information packed in to one day! For a quick summary of MHFA, (in English or Spanish) you can go here: http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/take-a-course/what-you-learn/
The website summarizes what we learned like this:
Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack — even if you have no clinical training — Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.
Remember Algee, the MHFA mascot? His name stands for the action plan that we can follow so we can be helpful to someone experiencing a mental health challenge:
Another comment on the website puts the action plan in this context:
When a loved one has heart disease or cancer, families rally around — they cook, clean, drive their loved ones to doctor’s appointments, give pep talks, and much more. But when someone is struggling with depression, anxiety, trauma, or other mental conditions, family members are not sure what to do, which can be heartbreaking when what they want more than anything is to help their loved one.
I take a CPR training course every few years. I’ve never had to administer emergency medical first aid to anyone. I’ve already been able to use my Mental Health First Aid training. Have you?