May is Mental Health Month

Because anyone, anywhere can be the difference for someone facing a mental health or substance use challenge.

One million people have been trained in Mental Health First Aid nationwide and Michigan State University Extension Educators have been among the million. Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking program that teaches the skills needed to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance abuse challenges and crises.

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance abuse-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations and where to turn for help.

Topics Covered include:

  • Depression and mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Trauma
  • Psychosis
  • Substance Use disorders

Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better and use their strengths to stay well.

When you take a course, you learn how to apply the Mental Health First Aid action plan in a variety of situations, including when someone is experiencing:

  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Acute psychosis (e.g., hallucinations or delusions)
  • Overdose or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use
  • Reaction to a traumatic event

The opportunity to practice — through role-plays, scenarios and activities — makes it easier to apply these skills in a real-life situation.

Go to the Mental Health First Aid Website to find a class near you. MSU Extension has a RELAX-Alternatives to Anger course that you can access online.

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