Nineteen Holmes staff members recently participated in the nationally-recognized Mental Health First Aid program.
The Mental Health First Aid program teaches skills to recognize and respond to the signs of mental illness and substance use. The training helps participants learn to identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.
Think of mental health first aid as assisting someone experiencing a mental health crisis as similar to CPR assisting someone in cardiac arrest with CPR. The participants who successfully complete the training program are certified in Mental Health First Aid for a three-year period. A Mental Health First Aider can be the one to make a difference in the life of someone with a mental health challenge, and his/her actions can be a first step in someone’s recovery journey.
The 10-hour training course consists of two hours of online pre-course work and eight hours of face-to-face training. During the course, participants learn about common mental health and substance abuse disorders, and how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge.
In addition, participants learn skills on how to listen non-judgmentally and give reassurance to a person who may be experiencing a mental health challenge. Finally, participants learn how to refer someone to the appropriate professional support and/or services.
Holmes staff members who participated included: Alice Austin, Allison DeWeese, Bethany Miller, Bill Grace, Cynthia Abel, Jackie Hale, Laura Bigbee, Laura McMahon, Nacole Adams, Pamela Fells, Rachelle Moore, Ryan Beggs, Sarah Clay, Simonee Miller, Susie Jackson, Theresa Hargett, Tina Garrett, Tracey Herring and Wyndy Peeples.
In the coming months, the Holmes certified personnel will be presenting information to various campus groups.