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April and May Mental Health First Aid trainings announced

Healthy Humans Hendry-Glades announces free in-person Mental Health First Aid training sessions in April and May.

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults, helping to provide initial support to people struggling. The sessions also help participants learn how to connect people in need with appropriate support.

“With nearly one in five adults in the United States experiencing a mental illness, it’s important for the community to understand how to help them,” said Lisa Sands with United Way, Lee, Hendry, and Glades. “Just like training in basic lifesaving techniques like CPR, these sessions help members of the community have a better understanding of mental and substance use issues, as well as help reduce the stigma in getting people the help that they need. Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better and use their strengths to stay well.”

The sessions are appropriate for anyone age 18 and older who wants to learn to help someone who may be experiencing a mental health-related crisis or problem. Sessions are designed for people not formally trained in behavioral health to learn about common risk factors and warning signs and to interact with a person in crisis, whether at home, school or in the community.

The National Council for Behavioral Health helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the United States in 2008. More than 2.6 million people have been certified as Mental Health First Aiders, with more being trained every day.

Available sessions are two days long each, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breaks for lunch, at Hendry County Emergency Management, 4425 Fl-80, Labelle. Sessions include:

  • April 10-11
  • April 25-26
  • May 8 and 9
  • May 22 and2 3

Sessions are taught by Edwin Melendez, a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor in English and Spanish. To register for the sessions, email Edwin.Melendez@FLhealth.gov.

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