Early Intervention

CMH to host Mental Health First Aid workshop

TRAVERSE CITY – Mental health problems affect one in four Americans — it could be you, a family member, friend or co-worker. Imagine that someone you know – maybe someone you love – is distressed, depressed or in a crisis. You want to help, but don’t know what to do or how to do it.

“Lack of knowledge creates a feeling of helplessness, a sense of fear and stigma,” said Cindy Petersen, community provider relations specialist at Northern Lakes Community Mental Health (CMH). “Many people are unsure of what to do and how to help.”

A workshop being hosted June 24 and 25 by Northern Lakes CMH, called Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), aims to teach people the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, how to provide initial assistance, and strategies to guide the person toward professional help.

The program is based on the same principles as a standard first-aid course, Petersen said, so participants will be learning practical, hands-on skills to help tackle a mental health crisis.

“The program won’t train you to be a professional therapist but it will arm you with the things you need to do until professional help can be arranged, much like treating a wound until an ambulance arrives.

“This is a national movement we are joining,” Petersen said.

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