Unique mental health first aid training available

JACKSON HOLE, WYO — How many times, after the fact, do we kick ourselves for not recognizing a family member, a loved one, a friend, a coworker, was hurting or going through something? Someone very close could be in the depths of depression or going through a period of intense anxiety…but would we know?

The Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center (JHCCC) is sponsoring a groundbreaking public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Mental Health First Aid is offered in the form of an interactive 8-hour course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the US and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Those who take the 8-hour course to certify as Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Mental Health First Aid allows for early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?”

Participants are introduced to local mental health resources, national organizations, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support.

Mental Health First Aid has been taught to a variety of audiences, including: health, human services, and social workers; employers and business leaders; faith community leaders; college and university staff and faculty; law enforcement and public safety officials; veterans and family members; persons with mental illness-addictions and their families; and other caring citizens. Bottom line: We’re all on the frontlines and we can all be there for each other.

The training is next Tuesday, May 21 from 8:30am to 4:00pm. It will take place in St. John’s Medical Center  (Upstairs Board Room). It is presented by Adam Williamson, NCC, LPC. To register, email Adam or call 307-733-2046.

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