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Placer County Co-Sponsoring Mental Health First Aid Training March 21-22

February 20, 2013

Placer County is inviting the general public to attend a free Mental Health First Aid training course to be held March 21-22 in Auburn.

The 12-hour course will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. both days at the Chapa-De Behavioral Health Activities Center, 11670 Atwood Road.

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 program supervisor in the county Health and Human Services Department who is a MHFA trainer. “Mental Health First Aid is not a substitute for professional help and should not be tried in dangerous situations, but can be very effective in many situations helping a person until professional help is available.”

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.

The March 21-22 training course is being co-sponsored by Chapa-De and Health and Human Services. Costs 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 March 21-22 training course, contact Tom Drake by EMAIL, or call 530-886-3413.