Each year, one in five American adults experience a mental health issue.
Bert Nash Mental Health Center is training the Lawrence community to recognize such problems and respond appropriately. Just as law enforcement professionals, educators, employers, and co-workers prepare to help in physical emergencies, they can also lend important first aid support to individuals who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.
Carla DeHerte, WRAP Program Team Leader at Bert Nash, explained the key elements of the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) protocol. The 8-hour training teaches how to recognize warning signs and provides background information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and substance use. Participants learn a five-step intervention strategy and come away with a list of resources.
The primary goal of the training is to overcome stigmas related to mental illness and to promote understanding.