Most people have heard of First Aid and CPR to address physical distress, but what happens when someone is exhibiting signs of emotional or mental distress?
The Alaska Training Cooperative (AKTC) is providing the community with a groundbreaking public education program Mental Health First Aid that helps the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid is an interactive eight-hour course funded by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority that teaches participants about the risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and provides an overview of treatment resources and options.
In this training, Mental Health First Aid trainees are taught how to practice and respond appropriately to mental health problems in a variety of situations, such as helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, or assisting an individual who has overdosed. Just as CPR training helps a layperson with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis until appropriate professional help arrives.
Not only does this program save lives, but also published research studies indicate this program improves the mental health of those in the program itself by expanding the public's knowledge of mental illness.
For more information on Mental Health First Aid, visit http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org
Must attend the full course to receive three-year certification.