On Thursday, April 25, the University of Missouri Extension in Mercer County in cooperation with the Princeton Rotary Club will be offering Mental Health First Aid training in Princeton. This groundbreaking eight-hour training course gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary.
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.
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 5-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,” says 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 ten years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States—more than 1 million people are certified Mental Health First Aiders, and that number is growing every day. Missouri currently ranks 5th in the states with the most people trained.
Jessica Trussell, MU Extension field specialist in human development, stated that “This is a great program for all individuals. We never know when we will interact with someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis. It could be a friend, coworker, family member, or a stranger at the store. But, if people will take the time to complete this course and can be comfortable with the knowledge they gain, they will be better prepared to assist that individual if their help is needed.”
The program will be held at Fernwood Place, 19962 Fernwood Pl, Princeton from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 25, 2019. Participants must register by April 22, 2019. The cost of the program is $25.00 and lunch is provided. For more information or to participate in a Mental Health First Aid training in Mercer County, visit THIS LINK or contact Jessica Trussell, Livingston County Extension at 666-646-0811 or Marcia Cox at 660-748-3340.