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County Sponsoring Mental Health First Aid Training Oct. 17-18 in Roseville

September 11, 2013

Placer County is inviting the general public to attend a free Mental Health First Aid training course to be held Thursday, Oct. 17 and Friday, Oct. 18 in Roseville.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training is designed to give members of the public the key skills needed to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

“A person who successfully completes the training will be able to assist an individual experiencing a mental health crisis, much as people with CPR training help individuals following heart attacks and other emergencies,” said Cyndy Bigbee, a Health and Human Services program supervisor who is a MHFA trainer.

“Specifically, studies have found that people trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in  helping others, are more likely to advise people to seek professional help, have a better understanding of treatment methods used by health professionals and are more aware of how important it is to reduce the stigma often associated with mental health disorders."

Bigbee emphasized that Mental Health First Aid is not a substitute for professional help and should not be tried in dangerous situations.

Experts say Mental Health First Aid helps people feel more comfortable managing crisis situations and builds mental health literacy, thus making it easier for the public to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.

Costs of the training are being covered with funding provided through the California Mental Health Services Act. 

To be certified in Mental Health First Aid, participants must attend both days of the training course. Certification must be renewed every three years.

The training will provide students with:

  • Knowledge of potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders and substance abuse disorders;
  • A five-step action plan that offers the skills, resources and knowledge to assess situations, select and implement appropriate interventions and help individuals in crisis connect with appropriate professional care;
  • An understanding of the prevalence of various mental health disorders in the U.S. and the need to reduce the stigma that frequently accompanies the disorders; and
  • A working knowledge of appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help people manage, treat and recover from mental health problems.

To register for the course, contact Cyndy Bigbee by e-mail or call 530-889-7229.

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