On June 24, 2019, CNN featured an article that detailed how an eight-hour workshop has been changing the way people interact with persons in the midst of a mental illness or alcohol/drug addiction crisis.
In an effort to better educate the faculty, staff, and students on campus, Hocking College recently began offering Mental Health First Aid Training.
What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an international face-to-face training program. MHFA is designed to provide the general public with the skills they’ll need to assist someone in a crisis situation until professional help can intercede.
The topics that are covered during these sessions include depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis and substance-use disorders. Other specific things that participants will learn include:
- Participants learn how to identify the signs, symptoms and risk factors that accompany mental illnesses and drug/alcohol addiction.
- Participants learn about different types of professional and self-help resources they can refer to the people they’re trying to assist
- Participants can become more confident in their abilities to help people suffering from mental illness or alcohol/drug addiction
- Participants will gain insights into how they can help shatter stereotypes and stigmas associated with mental illness and alcohol/drug addiction
Additionally, through a series of slides, skits and lectures, trainees are taught how to apply a 5-step action plan called “ALGEE” to situations that involve everything from providing emotion support to someone in the midst of a panic attack to reaching out to someone who is contemplating suicide.
What does ALGEE stand for?
ALGEE stands for Assess, Listen, Give, Encourage, and Encourage. Taking this a step further, this means:
- Assess for risk to suicide or harm
- Listen non-judgmentally
- Give reassurance and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies
what are the origins of mental health first aid trainings?
In 2000, Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm created the concept of Mental Health First Aid in Canberra, Australia. Kitchener was a nurse specializing in health education, and Jorm was a highly regarded mental health literacy professor and researcher.
By 2011, the program Kitchener and Jorm created had inspired over 170,000 Australian citizens to receive Mental Health First Aid training.
At the end of 2018, 2.6 million persons had been trained in Mental Health First Aid on a global scale in countries including Bangladesh, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Switzerland, the United States and Wales.
For more information about Mental Health First Aid, click here.