Did you know that Colorado has the sixth-highest suicide rate in the U.S.? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 46% of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition. Many of us feel ill-prepared to talk to someone about their mental health challenges because we’re afraid we’ll say the wrong thing and only make matters worse. The truth is that the more we know about the realities of mental illness and local resources, the more likely we are to offer assistance to someone in crisis and connect them to helpful support. Help that could possibly save someone’s life.
In recognition of September as National Suicide Prevention Month, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training will be provided on September 7, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at Coal Creek Canyon Community Hall, 31528 CO-72, Golden, CO 80403.
Think of MHFA as CPR for mental health concerns. Just as CPR teaches lay people how to respond to someone experiencing a cardiac event, MHFA teaches you how to provide basic assistance to someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Participants will learn to recognize signs of depression, anxiety, psychosis, and suicidal ideation, use the MHFA 5-step action plan, and connect with various local and national resources to support mental wellness and recovery.
Everyone can benefit from MHFA training. Its curriculum is designed to provide helpful tools to people who are not mental health professionals so they are better equipped to support someone experiencing a mental health challenge. “I was so fortunate to take the Mental Health First Aid class a few years ago. It provided me with the extra strategies and tools to use for my mental health journey and the population I was working closely with. The knowledge and insight I gained has really paid off for me,” said Linda Martin, former director of Wee Creekers in Coal Creek Canyon.
This course is provided free of charge, however, registration is required. Drop-ins are not permitted. Visit MHFACO.org, click on Find A Class to locate the September 7 class in Coal Creek Canyon, or go directly to https://www.mhfaco.org/find-a-class/attend/1655.
Lindy Lewis is a board member of Canyon Cares Certified Mental Health First Aid instructor