Submitted by Providence Health & Services, Southwest Washington

As part of Providence St. Joseph Health’s commitment to behavioral health, free first aid training will be offered in Thurston County at the Providence Immediate Care Clinic in Lacey on College Street.

This 8-hour training course gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary. Mental Health First Aid is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

COURSE DETAILS

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or experiencing an emotional crisis:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

A $170 value, this course is provided at no cost through the generous support of Providence St. Joseph Health. Participants also receive a free manual that complements the course. Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like, “What do I do?” and, “Where can someone find help?” Certified Mental Health First Aid instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. All trainees receive a program manual to complement the course material.

Classes (open to the public) will take place on upcoming Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (pre-registration is required by emailing TonyCloudMHFA@gmail.com with your name, phone number, email address and date of course you would like to attend).

Providence Immediate Care Clinic Lacey

  • Saturdays:
    • Jan. 20
    • Feb. 24
    • March 24
    • April 14
    • May 12
    • June 23

For more information about the program, see the Mental Health First Aid – Info Sheet

Providence Immediate Care Clinic in Lacey will be hosting six mental health first aid training. Photo courtesy: Providence St. Joseph Health

1 in 5 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, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-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 10 years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States—more than 800,000 people are certified Mental Health First Aiders, and that number is growing every day.

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