Did you know that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 teens are struggling with mental illness? Mental Health First Aid believes “Anyone, anywhere can be the one to make a difference in the life of someone with a mental health or substance use challenge – if they know what to do and what to say.”

Mental Health First Aid trains coaches, police officers, teachers, faith leaders and other caring individuals to look for the signs of mental illness and how to respond with appropriate intervention strategies.

At Women’s Housing Coalition, we participate in continuing education so that we can fully support all of our residents. It is important for all staff members to be educated and trained on the best way to interact with residents in an effective manner that supports them in their journey to improve their lives. Mental Health First Aid is just one of the training opportunities that our staff has attended along these lines.

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, we learned about the risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.

Our staff members left with a better understanding of mental illness, and how they can help with a Mental Health First Aid action plan for a variety of situations including panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and reactions to traumatic events.

At Women’s Housing Coalition, we are thankful for courses like these so we can serve better and continue our mission of supporting families and individuals with permanent and affordable, service-enriched housing. If you would like to know more about Mental Health First Aid and the courses they have available, visit https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/bethedifference/