Florence County AODA/Mental Health Coalition offers Youth Mental Health First Aid training

FLORENCE, Wis. — The Florence County AODA/Mental Health Coalition will be offering Youth Mental Health First Aid training, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26, in the lower level conference room of the Florence County Natural Resource and Interpretive Center in Florence, Wis.

This groundbreaking eight-hour training course gives people the tools to identify when a young person might be struggling with a 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, Youth Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a youth experiencing a mental health crisis. Youth 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,” 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.

To register for the training, call Cinde at the Florence County Health Department at 715-528-3426 or e-mail her at cnichols@co.florence.wi.us. The training and materials are free but enrollment is limited, so please register early. Those attending will need to bring their own lunch.

To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org