Upcoming Wellness Events
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This 8-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.
Mental Health First Aid is included on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).
Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis:
– 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
Like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help. First Aiders do not take on the role of professionals — they do not diagnose or provide any 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. All trainees receive a program manual to compliment the course material.
Mental Health First Aid was introduced in the U.S. in 2008 and, to date, hundreds of thousands of people from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have taken the course. The course is offered to a variety of audiences, including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, and law enforcement. Approximately 400 people are being trained each day with that number expected to increase.
In 2012, Youth Mental Health First Aid was introduced to prepare trainees to help youth ages 12-18 that may be developing or experiencing a mental health challenge. And in 2014 two specialized versions were introduced, Mental Health First Aid for Veterans and Mental Health First Aid for First Responders.
Mental Health First Aid was included in the Presidents plan to reduce gun violence and increase access mental health services. In 2014 Congress appropriated $15 million to SAMHSA for training teachers and school personnel in the youth version of Mental Health first Aid; and another $15 million is included in the President’s 2015 budget proposal. The Mental Health First Aid (S.153/H.R. 274) has broad bi-partisan support and would authorize $20 million annually for training the American public. Fifteen states have made Mental Health First Aid a priority, appropriating state funds including Texas that has allocated $5 million.
The National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri
Department of Mental Health coordinate Mental Health First Aid USA.
The Indiana Workplace Wellness Partnership (IWWP) provides a quarterly forum for Indiana employers to share information and ideas on improving employee health and well being. Participating employers come from all parts of the state and constitute a broad spectrum of business sizes and types. Indiana state government and many of our colleges and universities are involved.
The IWWP is a great forum to understand what is working and what roadblocks are causing stagnation. Hear from CEO’s, experts and fellow practitioners about the issues facing wellness at work and potential solutions. Whether you are just getting started or have developed a high-level wellness initiative at work, the IWWP is a great place to ask questions and offer your own solutions to making Indiana a healthier and more attractive state to locate and grow your business.
IWWP meetings are free to attend and include a healthy lunch.
Contact the Wellness Council of Indiana at (317) 264-2165 to register.