In observation of Mental Health Awareness Month, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., will offer five free Mental Health First Aid training courses to the public in Gainesville (4) and Lake City(1).
Similar to First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for medical emergencies, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trains participants to identify and respond through a five-step action plan to potential mental illness or substance use disorders until appropriate professional help can arrive. Participants are introduced to risk factors and warning signs, and engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families.
“We believe that mental illness and substance use disorders are a major health issue in our community.” Maggie Labarta, PhD, CEO, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare. “In order to address the needs of those affected by these illnesses we first, as a community, need to understand them. It is our hope that by offering MHFA to the community will motivate or friends and neighbors to become involved and to advocate for increased attention to this critical aspect of healthcare.”
Adult and Youth trainings will be held in Gainesville. Youth training will be held in Lake City. The eight-hour trainings normally cost $50 a participant. Sessions run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a one-hour break for lunch, and participants must attend the full session in order to earn Mental Health First Aider certification, granted by the National Council on Behavioral Health.
Classes are limited to 20 participants per class and pre-registration is required.