Mental Health First Aid Training To Be Held

Howell Township Municipal Building (Photo by Micromedia Publications)

  HOWELL – The Township’s Municipal Alliance will offer Mental Health First Aid Certificate training on Oct. 5 at the Howell Township Municipal Building.

  The program is open to all interested parties 18 and over. Alliance Coordinator Christa Riddle said, “This groundbreaking, 8-hour training course provides the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary. Our June training had 27 people attain certifications.”

  One in five Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect.

  Riddle said that “for friends and family members, it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get them until it is too late.”

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  Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

  “Through this program, we hope to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems,” said Linda Rosenberg, the president and chief executive officer of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. in 2008.

  Rosenberg said, “When more people are equipped with the tools, they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need.”

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  Within a decade, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States – more than one million people are certified Mental Health First Aiders, and that number is growing every day according to Rosenberg.

  The National Council for Behavioral Health was instrumental in bringing Mental Health First Aid to the USA.

  To register for the Mental Health First Aid Certificate training on Oct. 5 at the Howell Township Municipal Building, visit Eventbrite: eventbrite.com/e/mental-health-first-aid-certificate-training-registration-69887277729.

  The training is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a working lunch provided by the Howell Township Municipal Alliance. Registration will close at noon on Oct. 4.

  To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit mentalhealthfirstaid.org and to learn more about the Howell Township Municipal Alliance, visit howell.nj.us/169/Municipal-Alliance or contact Christa Riddle, Alliance Coordinator, at 732-938-4500 ext. 4012/ criddle@twp.howell.nj.us.