MHFA training offered in Morris

Education program helps people identify and respond to signs of mental illness

Published: Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:59 a.m. CDT

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Do you work with the public? Have you ever felt the frustration of trying to understand the mental condition of someone who is behaving differently than expected?

This is just the kind of situation that Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training can prepare you to understand.

MHFA is an interactive public education program that helps people identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders.

Those who take the 12-hour certification course learn a 5-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care.

MHFA will be held in Morris from 8 a.m. to noon, April 22, 23 and 24, 2013, at Morris Fire Station #2, 2301 Ashton Road.

To register, please contact Barry Groesch at (630) 646-5154 or bgroesch@edward.org.

There is a $25 fee, which covers the cost of books, materials, and 12 hours of certification contact hours for CNE, IAODAPCA, LCSW, LMFT, LCPC and CPDU.

The training is conducted by Linden Oaks at Edward Hospital. It is hosted by the Grundy County Health Department and the Behavioral Health Alliance of Grundy County.

Carol Donahue, who works in patient transportation at Morris Hospital and who attended a previous MHFA training, called it “the most informative seminar I have ever attended.

“Having worked as a medical social worker for many years, and having dealt with mental health issues in the hospital and home health care, I would highly recommend this course to persons in the medical field,” Donahue said. “It would also be beneficial for first responders, such as paramedics and police officers, as well as therapists. It was well worth the time spent in class.”

Licensed Social Worker Annie Hysaw describes MHFA as “a wonderful tool for anyone who works with the general public.

“Many people believe that the only ones who can help someone experiencing a mental health crisis are trained mental health providers. MHFA training prepares everyone to be able to recognize and respond in an emergency and assist people until the appropriate authorities arrive,” explained Hysaw, who works with Service, Inc., Child and Family Connections #15.

The Behavioral Health Alliance is a network of individuals and organizations concerned about behavioral health issues in Grundy County.  For more information about the BHA, please contact Devan at (815) 941-0852 or bhagrundy@gmail.com. BHA also has a Facebook page and website, www.bhagrundycounty.com.

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