Mental Health First Aid is to mental illness as CPR is to heart attack. I discussed mental health first aid in a post a few years ago, and was pleased that a clergy colleague took the training in Iowa, to his great benefit, according to his report. The training describes major serious mental illnesses and gives strategies for evaluating and responding to crisis situations. It does not train people to be counselors. It equips the general public, nonprofessionals to provide emergency assistance, in advance of professional help.
Question: Who Benefits From Mental Health First Aid
This week I attended a NAMI meeting that introduced the training to Central Oregon. The trainer asked us, Why would somebody want to take MHFA training? One person said he needs more tools to deal with his family member. I said it reduces anxiety in a crisis if you know what to do.
My wife later noted our curious perspective. We described the benefit to those who would take the course. She countered, the reason to get the training is the same as the reason to get CPR training -- if you know what to do, you can help somebody. The benefit is to the person who needs your help.