Be the Difference: Take Mental Health First Aid

in our state suicide is the second leading cause of death in teenagers I think people are so afraid of mental health and there’s so much stigma around mental health that they don’t think they can help and so they choose to do nothing and they don’t recognize the signs and so Mental Health First Aid is a training that will allow people to recognize the signs and to offer immediate assistance and then get the appropriate long-term professional assistance involved Mental Health First Aid it’s an eight-hour training and it’s an evidence-based program and we have a youth version and an adult version so it’s available for if you work with adults or if you work with children we train the school personnel the courts the general public volunteers parents I believe every single person can benefit from it in the same way that the general public can benefit from knowing CPR because you never know when you’re going to be the person who’s there and someone needs you we were just noticing a lot more kids who are coming in with exterior trauma when kids come in with that much kind of baggage they can’t function so we wanted something to have in our toolbox that can allow us to make it so that they feel comfortable enough to function so that they can learn as college students and as growing adults we will face challenges with mental health this is a really really transformative and dynamic time for young adults and mental health is often ignored or pushed to the side the need for the mental health first aid from the veterans point of view is you know we see a lot of stuff that average civilians don’t being a veteran myself I know the struggles we face the big ones you hear traumatic brain injury and PTSD but there’s other mental health disorders that needed to be addressed and mental health first aid is a good step in the right direction to find them I think people can become disconnected and I think this mental health first day training I think it reconnects folks it becomes nuanced now I understand that me ask this question based on what I’ve learned maybe sit back a little bit more taking the stigma away out of it you know let’s humanize this thing and I think that’s the biggest piece for me is humanizing this and understanding that they may just need a moment or they really need someone to talk to lots of research has been done on it it’s statistically based it’s not just we have a hunch that this can help we know that it can help the tools that we got in the mental health first aid training are more geared toward giving us agency and preventing mental health crises instead of cleaning up after them even just small aspects of it I would say I use the training daily I can apply it to coworkers friendships family and interactions with people and that’s really what mental health first aid helps you do is interact with people as more and more people talk about it it’s amazing how the next person will say we know this is what happened to me and this is how I felt and this is how I dealt with it and the more that talk about that the more comfortable kids and adults start feeling that you know it’s all just part of who we are [Music] you

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