Local groups are bringing training to Havre to help people learn how to identify mental health problems and help people in crisis receive care, with certification as a Mental Health First Aider available for people who complete the program.
The administrators say each class will be limited to 25 people, so reservations are requested. Attendance is free to people who live or work in Hill County with donation of a nonperishable food item for the Havre Food Bank
Psychiatric registered nurse Suzanne Lockwood, who is teaching the class, said it primarily is aimed at people who deal with the public, such as law enforcement officers, public officials, school teachers or administrators, and so on, but anyone is welcome to attend the course.
The course is adapted from a program created in Australia in 2001 by Betty Kitchener, a nurse, and Anthony Jorm, a mental health literacy professor.
The program is designed to provide knowledge about mental health disorders, including how to recognize warning signs and risk factors, reduce stigma about mental health disorders and help provide support to people in a mental health crisis.
Lockwood said sharing information about mental health disorders is very important — 1 in 4 Americans will have a diagnosable mental health disorder in their lifetime.
“That’s more than heart disease and cancer combined,” she said.
The program teaches warning signs and risk factors for depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, suicide, substance abuse and other issues, and teaches a five-step plan to help individuals experiencing a crisis connect to resources and professional care.
The classes will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday in the boardroom at the District 4 Human Resources Development Council building at 2229 5th Ave., and May 2 in Conference Room 4 at Northern Montana Hospital, also from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It is sponsored by the Hill County Local Advisory Committee, the Hill County Health Consortium Mental Health Awareness Committee and the Montana Mental Health Trust.
For more information or to register, people can call 265-9639 or email a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.