'Mental Health First Aid' class planned

Published: Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 1:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 11:47 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE  – With mental health crises more common than heart attacks, everyone would benefit from commonly shared knowledge about how to respond to anxiety, depression or psychotic behaviors. 

The McHenry County Mental Health Board will offer a free adult "Mental Health First Aid" course from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 23 and 24 at its office at 620 Dakota St. in Crystal Lake. 

"Mental Health First Aid" is a public education program that helps to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. This training helps to identify potential warning signs and risk factors for a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, eating disorders, substance use and self-injury. 

The training helps individuals know how to safely de-escalate a crisis situation, and it identifies a five-step plan to help an individual in crisis connect to professional care. 

“Sometimes people just don’t know how to respond to someone who is clearly in distress,” said Wendy Neuman, program monitor and training assistant. “We want to reach out to help, but we don’t know how to help. We don’t want to make things worse by saying or doing the wrong thing. This course provides a working knowledge of how to respond.” 

To register for this free training, email your name, phone number and email address to Wendy Neuman at wneuman@mc708.org or call her at 815-788-4392. 

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