Mental Health First Aid


A surgeon on a daily run. A guest helping to load Christmas trees. A visitor to a local museum

They are among the many lives saved because bystanders knew CPR. We recognize the importance of CPR, so many area companies and agencies require employees to learn the life-saving method. 

But there is another form of training with the potential to save lives. You won't learn how to do chest compressions or to tie a tourniquet. Instead, Mental Health First Aid provides the skills to help during a mental health crisis. 

Be The Difference

“Anyone, anywhere can be the one to make a difference in the life of someone with a helping hand with the sky sunset backgroundmental health or substance abuse challenge – if they know what to do and what to say,” said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. She continued:

“The difference between someone contemplating suicide and one who goes through with the act could be a friend, teacher, coach or parent who knows what to look for and how to engage people in open conversation. Those are the skills learned in Mental Health First Aid.”

At RACSB, we provide both youth and adult curriculums in training sessions scheduled throughout the year. We also offer higher education and law enforcement curriculums on request. This year, we trained resident assistants at the University of Mary Washington and to students at Rappahannock Regional Justice Academy.

We would like to see the entire community know to help during psychiatric emergencies. 

Important Lessons

“Mental Health First Aid teaches people that it’s okay to talk about mental health issues,” Rosenberg said. “It is our goal that by 2020, Mental Health First Aid will be as common as CPR and traditional first aid.”

The 8-hour course uses role-playing to teach participants to offer assistance in a mental health crisis. Participants learn the common risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. You will also discover available community resources, and how to find help. 

Letter squares spell "Mental Health First Aid"

The $25 registration fee includes a workbook, refreshments and lunch on the first day of training. 

The Mental Health First Aid (Adult) trainings will be held:

  • March 21, 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and March 22, 8:30 a.m. to noon at 3302 Bourbon Street in Spotsylvania
  • May 2, 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and May 3, 8:30 a.m. to noon at Rappahannock United Way, 3310 Shannon Park Drive in Spotsylvania
  • Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Oct. 18, 8:30 a.m. to noon at Rappahannock United Way, 3310 Shannon Park Drive in Spotsylvania

Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings will be held:

  • Feb 27, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3302 Bourbon Street in Spotsylvania
  • May 9, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rappahannock United Way, 3310 Shannon Park Drive in Spotsylvania
  • Sept. 12, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rappahannock United Way, 3310 Shannon Park Drive in Spotsylvania

 

To register for the training, contact Jennifer Bateman, Prevention Specialist, at 540/374-3337, ext. 100 or jbateman@rappahannockareacsb.org.

 

 

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