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    Posted May 6, 2014 by
    Los Angeles, California
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Going public with mental illness

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    Mental Health First Aid


    Most of us have heard of CPR and First Aid, but have you heard of  mental health first aid? Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack — even if you have no clinical training — Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn 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. When you take a course, you learn how to apply the Mental Health First Aid action plan in a variety of situations, including when someone is experiencing Panic Attacks, Suicidal thoughts or behaviors, Non- Suicidal self injury, Acute psychosis (e.g., hallucinations or delusions), Overdose or withdrawal from alchohol or drug use, reaction to a tramatic event.

    The Mental Health First Aid Action Plan consist of the following.

    Assess for risk of suicide or harm
    Listen non-judgmentally
    Give reassurance and Information
    Encourage appropriate professional help
    Encourage self-help and other support strategies

    Companies, schools, and community colleges are taking steps to have their staff trained and certified as whats known as a "mental health first aider". Knowing when and understanding how to assist those who may be experiencing a mental health situation or crisis can save lives, and has been proven to be effective.

    Mental Health First Aid was created in 2001 by Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education, and Anthony Jorm, a mental health literacy professor.

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