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Free Online Mental Health First Aid Courses Announced

Know the signs. Learn the actions. Be a lifeline.

North Country Community Mental Health (NCCMH) announced its 2024 free online Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training schedule for the community.

 MHFA is a public education program that teaches the skills needed to identify, understand, and respond to signs of behavioral health challenges or crises. First Aid is given until appropriate supports are received.

Leslie Elrod, NCCMH Training Specialist, said that “MHFA is the brain-health equivalent of learning CPR. Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, MHFA teaches you how to assist and support others who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.”

Thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, residents of NCCMH’s six-county service area (Antrim, Cheboygan, Charlevoix, Emmet, Kalkaska, and Otsego) may take the MHFA course and receive a detailed manual at no charge. Eleven NCCMH staff have been trained and certified to serve as Mental Health First Aid trainers through the grant.

The evidence-based, early-intervention MHFA course is designed for people with little to no knowledge of mental health issues, and is a beneficial tool for employers, human resource professionals, faith-based leaders, first responders, community groups, teachers, coaches, and others.

Mental health problems covered in the course include substance abuse, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and psychotic disorders. Crisis situations covered in the course include suicidal behavior, overdoses, panic attacks, reactions to traumatic events, and psychotic episodes.

Anyone can attend a MHFA course and its techniques can be used with friends and family just as with acquaintances or strangers.

Both adult and youth versions of the MHFA course will be offered by NCCMH on several dates in 2024. The eight-hour course is split into two days containing four hours of instruction and is offered on Zoom. The first offering will be Youth MHFA on January 25-26 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Register and find more information at norcocmh.org/mental-health-first-aid

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