Professionals urged to get involved
With one in five Americans battling a mental illness or substance use disorder, the need for a formal system of assistance has never been clearer. Many people are reluctant to look for help or perhaps worse, want help but don’t know where to turn. The NCBH’s Mental Health First Aid Program could be the key.
Enter the National Council for Behavioral Health and their new First Aid program. Mental Health First Aid teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The course introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns, builds understanding of their impact and provides an overview of common treatments. Through role-playing and simulations, it demonstrates how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions; provide initial help; and connect people to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources.
Mental Health First Aid encourages early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” Participants are introduced to local mental health resources, national organizations, support groups and online tools for mental health and addiction treatment and support.
A separate program is designed to aid in Youth Mental Health.
The National Council of Behavioral Health’s website has an entire page dedicated to the program.