The American Heart Association’s CPR & First Aid training has become a common certification. In fact, I first became certified when I was required to complete the training as part of my 8th grade health class. Chances are that you or someone you know has gone through the training at some point in time. Much more recently, however, I also learned about and was trained in a newer form of first aid that you probably haven’t heard about, and that’s mental health first aid.
Mental Health First Aid, a training course offered by the National Council for Behavioral Health, teaches participants how to help a person who is experiencing a mental health crisis or problem. This is incredibly important since 43.6 million Americans met the diagnostic criteria for a mental illness in 20141, a far greater number than the 359,400 Americans who experienced cardiac arrest in 20132. But despite the high prevalence of mental health issues in our society, most Americans receive little to no education or training regarding mental health disorders.
The National Council for Behavioral Health is trying to reduce this training gap and has set a goal to train 1 million mental health first aiders in the U.S., hoping to make the training as common as CPR certification.
Visit this website to learn more about Mental Health First Aid or to find a course near you. Or follow #1in1m on Twitter.