While many of us know how to administer first aid for health conditions, few of us are trained to provide similar help for those experiencing a mental health or substance use related crisis. To build community capacity, WCCMH regularly offers Mental Health First Aid training sessions for individuals with no prior experience in mental health and substance use diagnosis or treatment.
During standard eight-hour courses, participants learn how to recognize the symptoms of common mental illnesses and substance use disorders; safely de-escalate crisis situations; and initiate timely referrals to local resources. These courses are currently scheduled for June 7 (adult focus), June 21 (youth focus), August 23 (youth focus), September 13 (adult focus), November 15 (youth focus), and December 6 (adult focus).
With Mental Health and Public Safety Millage dollars, WCCMH is now developing a series of "train the trainer" Mental Health First Aid courses that we hope will multiply the impact throughout the community. Staff from the National Council for Behavioral Health will come to Washtenaw County to offer the week-long training programs (one focused on working with adults; the other focused on working with youth).
These intensive courses will prepare WCCMH staff and staff from community partner organizations — including schools, mental health provider organizations, faith-based communities, and others — to teach the standard eight-hour community courses going forward.