MEREDITH — UNH Cooperative Extension Youth & Family is sponsoring a Mental Health First Aid program in Belknap County on June 11. The Youth & Family team will train up to 30 4-H volunteers, youth mentors, teachers, school guidance counselors, bus drivers, coaches, police officers, parents and members of the public to improve mental health literacy – helping them identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.
"We are thrilled to bring Mental Health First Aid to our community in January," said Amy Jennings, Youth & Family Program Coordinator, at UNHCE. "This important educational effort goes a lot further than emergency intervention; it really helps people understand the shroud of fear and misjudgment facing individuals and families who experience mental illnesses and addiction. It will help rid this community of the associated stigma and move more and more people toward recovery."
Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training certification course which teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. Thorough evaluations in randomized controlled trials and a quantitative study have proved the CPR-like program effective in improving trainees' knowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma and increasing the amount of help provided to others.
For more information or to participate in a Mental Health First Aid training in Belknap County visit http://extension.unh.edu/articles/Things-Come-Crisis or call UNHCE at 603-527-5475