NAMI offers mental health first aid class


NAMI Four County will sponsor a free, day-long Mental Health First Aid class for people who work or volunteer in helping or social service capacities with adults on Thursday, Oct. 31 at St. John’s Christian Church in Archbold. The class starts at 8 a.m. and will conclude by 4:30 p.m.

The training, which is underwritten by proceeds from the Dennis Deeds Motorcycle Benefit for Suicide Awareness and a donation from Wauseon VFW Post 1424, focuses on how to recognize and get help for adults who are experiencing a mental health crisis by following a five step process called “ALGEE.” The acronym stands for: Assess for risk of suicide or harm. Listen nonjudgmentally. Give reassurance and information. Encourage appropriate professional help. Encourage self-help and other support strategies.

The training is appropriate for anyone whose job or volunteer activities can bring them in contact with individuals or families who have an adult loved one suffering from a diagnosed or undiagnosed mental illness. People who work in human resources or personnel management or for a social services agency have found the training particularly helpful as well as clergy or lay leaders in the faith community.

Participants are given an overview of symptoms that are typical of persons suffering from illnesses such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and others.

They will be taught how to recognize symptoms that can mean the person is at risk of suicide and taught the skills necessary to listen nonjudgmentally and have a meaningful conversation with someone who is in crisis.

Through instruction, demonstration and role-playing, participants will learn how to give reassurance and information to the person in crisis and let them know that mental illnesses are real, treatable illnesses from which people can and do recover.

Mental Health First Aid is a nationally recognized program that has demonstrated that participants gain a better recognition of mental health disorders, a better understanding of treatments, more confidence in providing help to others, and decreased social distance for people with mental health disorders.

Each participant will receive a thorough 136 page Mental Health First Aid manual. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided – all at no cost to the participants.

To register for the training, please contact Billie Jo Horner at 419-906-5569 or by email at bjhorner71@yahoo.com. Class size is limited with registrations accepted in the order that they are received. The deadline to register is Oct. 24.

A registration form can also be downloaded from the NAMI website, www.namifourcounty.org.