Progress in mental health recognition

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Bravo, bravo, bravo! I think we’re finally starting to take mental health issues seriously and it’s not a minute too soon.  My daughter just got an email from her university inviting her to participate in a brand new FREE program that they are offering to all students and community members. The name of the program is Mental Health First-Aid Training (MHFA).

Here’s what that means… Anyone who participates in the training and certification process will be empowered to recognize and offer appropriate assistance to anyone who is struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges. Whether it is another student, a friend, family member or just someone they casually know in the community, graduates of this program will know how to respond in a helpful and non-threatening manner.

Here’s what MHFA is… it’s a program that teaches how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders and then once identified, it helps the program graduate refer people in need to appropriate mental health resources. 

Here’s what it is not…MHFA is not counseling. It is a program that simply helps adults recognize signs and symptoms of mental health or substance use concerns, learn about specific mental health challenges, apply strategies for supporting people in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and provide information about where to get additional help.

Imagine if all schools and universities offered this training – what a difference we could make!  Clearly this is necessary for all age levels…substance abuse, bullying and other mental health issues are manifesting in younger and younger children these days. Having older siblings or parents who are trained in what to look for may just save a few lives as these kids grow up in a challenging and tricky world.









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