Human Services Department Offers Mental Health First Aid Training

June 07, 2017

Youth Mental Health First Aid Course

Saint Leo University’s Human Services Department offered the community a free opportunity to learn more about mental health first aid and how it can save lives.

The first of two courses, Youth Mental Health First Aid, was held June 5 at University Campus and drew mental health professionals, nurses, and members of the clergy. The class is designed to teach participants how to help an adolescent who is experiencing a mental health or addiction challenge or is in crisis.

The Adult Mental Health First Aid class, which is filled, will be held on July 17.  Topics covered will be anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions.

Taught by two certified instructors, these courses focus on recovery and resiliency, the beliefs that individuals experiencing mental health challenges can and do get better, and that they can use their strengths to stay well.

“Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that can help individuals across a community to have further understanding of mental illnesses, the opportunity to provide intervention support, which ultimately, save lives,” said Dr. Nancy Wood, chair of Saint Leo’s Human Services Department. “This training is an important piece in both stigma reduction and encouraging appropriate treatment.”

The courses are intended to teach those attending how to assist someone experiencing a mental-health-related crisis—even if you have no clinical training. In the mental health first aid courses, participants learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for helping someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and sources of help.

“This training is in alignment with Saint Leo’s core value of community, as well as, bringing awareness and support it an important health issue,” Wood said.