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First aid class offered for mental health issues

PARK CITY, Utah – Participants in Youth Mental Health First Aid learned how to deal with major mental health crises Monday.

The eight-hour course was designed to teach parents, teachers, coaches or anyone who regularly interacts with children or teenagers how to better deal with issues pertaining to mental health or substance abuse.

Mental Health First Aid training teaches people how to identify warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety/trauma, psychosis, substance use disorders and self-injury. It also teaches participants a five-step action plan that can help give them the knowledge to assess situations where mental health is in question, and select appropriate interventions to help the person in crisis connect with appropriate professional care.

The course was created by the Speedy Foundation, which deals with suicide prevention and mental health advocacy. The foundation hopes for the course to become commonplace, so that individuals have more knowledge of how to deal with people they work with on a daily basis.

“There’s just a lot of stigma tied up in mental health conditions that’s not tied up in physical health conditions, and so to break down the stigmas to start taking away the fear that comes with a mental illness is powerful,” said Shannon Decker, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Speedy Foundation.

Information on programs offered by the Speedy Foundation can be found here.