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People’s Forum: Mental health first aid training to be offered

Posted on Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

The mission statement of the Elkhart County Suicide Prevention Coalition is to provide viable alternatives to suicide. Our objectives are assistance, education, counseling, resources, research and understanding. With that being said, the coalition is providing mental health first aid training in February.

The dates of the training are Feb. 19, 21, 26 and 28 with classes starting at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. Registration begins at 5 p.m. Cost is $20 with checks payable to Elkhart County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Mental health first aid presenters Jim Starkey and Barb Welty can be reached at 523-2118 for Jim and 523-2119 for Barb. You will need to bring your supper. Fruit and cookies will be provided.

You will learn about the following:

Ÿ The prevalence of mental illness in the U.S. and the emotional and economic cost.

Ÿ The potential warning signs and risk factors for depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychotic disorders, eating disorders and substance use disorders.

Ÿ A five-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect to professional care.

Ÿ Resources available to help someone with a mental health problem.

Certification in mental health first aid will be attained upon competition of 12 hour training (four sessions) and course evaluation.

The coalition meets at the Elkhart County Health Department’s Lincoln Center, 608 Oakland Ave., Elkhart, at 8:30 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Meetings are open to the public.

Unfortunately, last year in Elkhart County there were 15 deaths by suicide, which impacted our whole community and changed the immediate families’ lives forever. Please consider joining us for mental health first aid training to help make a positive difference in our community.

Jim Smith

Elkhart County Suicide Prevention Coalition




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