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.

DeHerte described key elements of the Mental Health First Aid program

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.