If someone shows signs of a heart attack, you likely know how to respond — call 911 or administer CPR.
But did you know you’re more likely to encounter someone experiencing a mental health crisis than someone having a heart attack?
Do you know how to respond?
All residents are invited to enroll in our mental health first aid classes that teach you about common warning signs and risk factors for mental health problems, as well as a five-step action plan for helping someone in crisis.
“There’s a stigma in our country about mental health issues and we want to take that away by education,” says Leslie Roberts, supervisor of the wellness and health promotion unit of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. “Mental health is not a lack of strength issue, it’s a biophysical, chemical reaction in the brain, often caused by stress. People don’t make themselves have depression and anxiety — they suffer from it, it’s an illness.”
If you take the class, you will learn how to apply the five-step strategy in situations such as helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal or assisting an individual who has overdosed. You’ll practice the intervention strategies rather than to just learn about them. This simple experience can make it easier to actually apply the knowledge in a real-life situation.
You will not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, you will gain concrete tools and answers to key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?”
Whether you are a parent, employer, coworker, first responder, teacher, faith community leader, human resources professional or simply interested in learning more, these two-day certification courses have information everyone can use. We offer mental health first aid training for individuals in:
- Adult mental health (English and Spanish)
- Youth mental health for parents, guardians and other adults (English)
- Customized classes for larger groups/organization