Mental Health First Aid

Posted at: 06/06/2013 11:49 AM
Updated at: 06/06/2013 10:08 PM
By: Brittany Falkers

Recent tragedies across the country have brought the topic mental health to the forefront.  That is just one reason the University of Minnesota Duluth's Office of Continuing Education is offering Mental Health First Aid training. 

There is still a great deal of stigmatization surrounding the subject, but that

"Unfortunately, it comes to the forefront when we have tragedies and shootings because of the stigmatization surrounding mental health," instructor, Lee Berlinquette said. 

Berlinquette says that there has always been and continues to be a stigma surrounding mental illness, but taking a proactive approach to addressing mental health issues is always better than ignoring it.  "As unfortunate as it is that they have to bring it forward because of these tragedies it's important now to continue these conversations," she said. 

These first aid classes are not meant to train you to diagnose or treat diseases, Berlinquette said.  Instead, it gives the public insight to identify, understand, and respond to mental illness you may encounter in everyday life.

"One in four has a diagnosable mental illness," Berlinquette said.  "So, whether it's yourself, a family member, friend or coworker we've got to know how to reach out."

The training is open to the public and no prior experience is required.  Adult and youth will be scheduled separately. 

Adult Mental Health First Aid is an interactive 12-hour course that provides an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders.  Participants learn a core 5-step action plan.  This encompasses the skills, resources, and knowledge needed to help someone in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is an interactive 8-hour training program that introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents.

To register for any of the Mental Health First Aid trainings, go to www.regonline.com/mentalhealthfirstaid2013. 

For more information, please visit www.d.umn.edu/ce or contact cehelp@d.umn.edu or 218-726-8113.