OHIO Southern offering free Mental Health First Aid training
Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 14, 2021
In response to the nation’s mental health crisis, Ohio University Southern will bring Mental Health First Aid training to the Tri-State on Nov. 12. This skills-based course gives people the tools to identify, understand and respond to someone who might be struggling with a mental health or substance use challenge — and connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary.
The training will be led by Kristi Barnes, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, and Joy Shytle, MSW, associate professor of instruction/field liaison of the social work program at the Southern campus
“Now more than ever, the importance of mental health awareness is center stage,” she said. “As a culture we need to place greater emphasis on our emotional and psychological health.”
One in five Americans has a mental illness, and the pandemic has dramatically increased depression and anxiety, but many are reluctant to seek help or don’t know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. Friends and family members may find it hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not receive care 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 five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.
The training is made possible thanks to funding from the Pallottine Foundation of Huntington and is free of charge to participants. The virtual training will be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Nov. 12. Registration is required and capped at 20 participants. The deadline to register is Nov. 5 and registrants must complete a two-hour virtual session ahead of the training.
“Talking about our psychological well-being shouldn’t be any different than talking about our physical well-being,” Barnes said. “Yet there continues to be a stigma. This workshop will provide people with the skills needed to become more comfortable talking about mental health, how to engage others in conversations about mental health, as well as how to identify and help to prevent a crisis.”
To register for the Nov. 12 event, visit bit.ly/OUSMHFA
For more information on Mental Health First Aid training, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.