Helping in a mental health crisis

Mission | March 14, 2018

St. Paul Lutheran Church will host Mental Health First Aid training on Saturday, April 7, from 9-4 p.m. The class is free and open to the public. Signup is required, at stpaulqc.org/signups.

Mental Health First Aid is a course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.

Just as CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives.

Mental Health First Aiders learn a single five-step strategy that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other supports. Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families, and learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.

Since 2008, more than 550,000 people across the U.S. have been trained. The goal is for 1 million.

The course will be taught by Dawn Knutson, family advocate/family systems coordinator at Scott County Kids. It is supported by the St. Paul’s Mental Health Awareness Team.

Childcare will be available upon request.

For more information, please contact Pastor Sara Olson-Smith at 563-326-3547 or sara@stpaulqc.org.

One comment on “Helping in a mental health crisis”

  • Marlin Whitmer

    March 16, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    An important topic. Looking forward to attending.

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