When most people think of providing first aid in a given situation they probably think of tending to an obvious physical injury. What would you do if instead of an obvious medical emergency, you encountered an individual who is experiencing a mental health crisis?
In the United States, one in five adults, and one in four youth, will suffer from a mental illness this year. Not only are mental health disorders the most common causes of disability, these disorders are more common than heart disease and cancer combined.
The goal of Mental Health First Aid is to produce an environment where people fully understand how to assist someone who is experiencing a mental health emergency. During the training, participants learn how to detect mental illnesses and how to appropriately and safely respond to people who are having a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid trainings are typically between 8 to 12 hours in length, can range in price from free to $170, and are offered in cities throughout Minnesota.
We need to recognize the need for helping those with mental illness. Consider taking a Mental Health Training course; not only will you be educating yourself, but you may just save a life.
Bills have been introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate that, if passed, will allocate funds for community members to be trained in Mental Health First Aid. Contact your representatives and senators and ask them to support House Bill 1209 and Senate Bill 1311.
MinnPost welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Interested in joining the conversation? Submit your letter to the editor. The choice of letters for publication is at the discretion of MinnPost editors; they will not be able to respond to individual inquiries about letters.