Mental Health First Aid course offered

TOWNSHEND, Vt. – Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This eight-hour course uses role playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis: assess for risk of suicide or harm, listen nonjudgmentally, give reassurance and information, encourage appropriate professional help, encourage self-help and other support strategies.

Jack Heddon, HCRS area manager for Crisis Services in Windham County, will be offering this course to southeastern Vermont MRC volunteers and other area emergency responders Thursday, Nov. 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Townshend Town Offices, 2006 Route 30, in Townshend.

Please bring your own lunch or money to purchase lunch at the vending machines on the ground floor of the hospital. To register, contact or call 802-251-2127.

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