A first-aid class for mental health

February 19, 2016

News Type:  Weekly Spark News

The Atlantic

The author of this article in The Atlantic describes her experience taking a training to learn how to recognize and respond to individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis. The training she participated in, Mental Health First Aid (run by the National Council for Behavioral Health) provides information on mental health crises; goes over an action plan to help people who are experiencing a panic attack, suicidal thoughts, self-injury, substance abuse, or psychosis; and provides case examples that the participants assess. One of the main goals of this program is to help people feel less afraid when they are faced with someone in a mental health crisis. According to Betsy Schwartz, vice president of public education and strategic initiatives for the National Council, “Our training emphasizes that it’s not necessary to go really in-depth to provide help.” Rather, participants learn enough to address an acute situation until someone with professional training is available. While the author of this article has not had to use her training, she said that she has a better understanding of what a mental health crisis is like, and she feels more prepared and less afraid to deal with such a situation.

Spark Extra! To learn more about Mental Health First Aid, check out the program’s website.