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What is Mental Health First Aid

Posted by Dr. Brenda Richardson Rowe, LPC-S Minister of Counseling on

Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews appropriate support.  The program teaches common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia. 

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of mental illness or experiencing an emotional crisis:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with persons in crisis and connect the person with help.  First Aiders do not diagnose or providing and counseling or therapy.  Instead, the program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like, “What do I do?” and, “Where can someone find help?” Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructors provide a list of community healthcare providers and national resources, support groups and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support. 

Our own Dr. Brenda Richardson Rowe, LPC-S and Tizita Seifu, LPC are both Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructors.  Watch for announcements regarding upcoming Mental Health First Aid Training.  

For more information regarding Mental Health First Aid in our area contact Harmony Counseling Center at 214-751-3932 

 

 

Tags: counseling, first aid, mental health

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