Free Mental Health First Aid classes offered

This time of year can be difficult for those who experience anxiety or depression while the people around them are in festive moods. For others who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the reduction of sunlight and daylight are challenging. Still others find intrusive thoughts of suicide affecting their outlook of life and relationships.

Addiction can build to crisis status around the end-of-year holidays. Knowing what to say and how to help when family members, friends, or coworkers are developing a mental health challenge or crisis may be the best way to prepare for the holidays.

That’s what Mental Health First Aid is for. This free course is made possible through Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority, offering the opportunity to gain the confidence and competence to be able to help.

This 8-hour course is a $170 value, offered at no charge. Free course materials will be provided to participants.

Certified trainers Mary Schalk and Carlene Przykucki of Partners In Prevention will deliver Youth Mental Health First Aid on Dec. 6 and 13 from 5 to 9 p.m. and Adult Mental Health First Aid on Dec. 7 and 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Each course requires the two four-hour sessions being held in the First Presbyterian Church social hall. The youth course covers the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents while the adult version covers risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns in adults.

Both evidence-based courses include a five-step Mental Health First Aid Action Plan to help adults and young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. The courses emphasize recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better.

Registration is requested by calling Partners In Prevention at 989-356-2880 or 1-800-354-2880 before the first session.