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Mental Health First Aid Training Comes to Yuba-Sutter
December 28, 2012
Mental Health First Aid Training Comes to Yuba-SutterBy John Floe
Prevention Services Coordinator
Sutter Yuba Mental Health Services

Would you know how to help someone in need of mental health services? There's a new program that can help you find help for someone in crisis.

Sutter Yuba Mental Health Services and the Yuba County Office of Education have been conducting classes in an evidence-based program that provides an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders. You can participate in an upcoming class.

Mental Health First Aid was created by Professor Anthony Jorm, a respected mental health literacy professor, and Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education. The program originated at the ORYGEN Research Center at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health worked with the program's founders to bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S.

Mental Health First Aid has a strong evidence base. Four detailed studies have been completed and nearly a dozen journal articles published on Mental Health First Aid's impact on the public. One trial of 301 randomized participants found that those who trained in Mental Health First Aid have greater confidence in providing help to others, greater likelihood of advising people to seek professional help, improved concordance with health professionals about treatments, and decreased stigmatizing attitudes. The study also found that Mental Health First Aid improved the mental health of the participants themselves. Findings from the other studies have echoed these outcomes.

To date, Mental Health First Aid has been replicated in 14 countries, including: England, Scotland, Finland, Canada, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Wales and Singapore. In the US, we truly value the supporting evidence and strive to achieve fidelity to the original Mental Health First Aid program developed in Australia. In the next decade, we expect Mental Health First Aid in the US will become as common as CPR and First Aid. It has the potential to reduce stigma, improve mental health literacy, and empower individuals – the benefits are limitless!

Currently Sutter Yuba Mental Health Services and Yuba County Office of Education under the Prevention and Early Intervention Program completed the second Mental Health First Aid Class (MHFA) provided on the 26th and 27th of November 2012.

Mental Health First Aid is an interactive 12-hour course that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the United States. Participants learn about risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, as well as understand their impact and overview common treatments. Participants who certify as Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

MHFA Trainers John Floe, MAOM and Amy Molina-Jones, provided this training to our Sutter Yuba community with twenty-four students that competed the training. For more information about Mental Health First Aid Training and to find out how you can sign up, please call 530-674-1885 ext. 114, or view the websites at www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org and www.sutter.networkofcare.org for additional resources.

 
 
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