Twenty-five members of the faculty and staff of the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington have successfully completed Mental Health First Aid Training.
The training is a nationally recognized curriculum that increases mental health awareness, decreases stigma, helps people understand signs of symptoms of mental health disorders, and provides guidance on how to help someone having a mental health issue.
“Just like traditional medical First Aid training, this Mental Health First Aid Training gives individuals the skills to recognize, respond, and react until a person suffering from a mental health crisis can get the professional mental health services they need,” said Megan Starnes, director of strategic initiatives at the O’Neill School.
Many of the school’s student services staff at the school have completed the training and are now certified to assist. Several other staff and faculty members also finished the training, which covered common signs and symptoms of both mental illness and substance use, how to interact with a person in crisis, and how to connect that person with the help they need.
The training teaches individuals to assess for the risk of suicide or self-harm, listen nonjudgmentally, give reassurance and information, encourage appropriate professional help, and encourage self-help and other support strategies.
Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, please call the campus crisis telephone line at (812) 855-5711 (after-hours, choose option 1), go to your local hospital’s emergency department, or call 911.