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Mile Bluff Foundation offers Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental Health First Aid

Since the pandemic began, there has been a growing concern and emphasis on mental health. One in five Americans has a mental illness, and the pandemic has dramatically increased cases of depression and anxiety. Many people are reluctant to seek help, or don’t know where to turn for care.

In response, Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation is brining Mental Health First Aid training to Mauston. This groundbreaking skills-based course gives people the tools to identify, understand, and respond to someone who might be struggling with a mental health or substance use challenge.

Mental Health First Aid is a one-day course that prepares attendees to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Attendees will learn a 5-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out, offering appropriate support, and connecting others with available resources.

The foundation will be providing these FREE trainings throughout the remainder of 2022, and into the spring of 2023. Several sessions will be geared toward adult mental health; and others will cover youth mental health.

“Knowing what to say and when to say it if someone is in a mental health crisis can be challenging,” said Katie Nuttall, Director of Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation. “Our hope is that these Mental Health First Aid trainings leave attendees more prepared in identifying a potential situation and how to have an appropriate response.”

“In our rural communities it’s hard to know where to turn when someone needs help, but resources are available,” continues Katie. “Being certified in Mental Health First Aid really can be the first step in connecting someone with the help they need. Being prepared to respond can also help to break down the barriers surrounding mental health, and create an open dialogue about conditions many people are dealing with.”

Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. Friends and family members may find it hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not receive the care that they need.

“Never has it been more important for our communities to talk about mental health and substance use,” says Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, which helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. in 2008. “This program is breaking down barriers and stigma so that together we can learn how to better support one another. Without mental health, there is no health.”

The first Adult Mental Health First Aid training will be held Friday, October 14 at Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston. This one-day interactive course teaches attendees how to help an adult who is experiencing a mental health crisis.

The first Youth Mental Health First Aid training will be held virtually on Thursday, October 27. This program is designed to teach parents, family members, school staff and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing mental health or addiction challenges. This program is designed for adults who regularly interact with young people.

These trainings are FREE to anyone in the community. They are led by a certified instructor who follows a national curriculum and uses teaching standards while emphasizing hope for recovery. Once this course is completed, attendees will be certified in Mental Health First Aid.

Pre-registration is required and seating is limited. To register, visit the ‘Calendar of Events’ or call Katie at 608-847-2735.