Lexington non-profit offers 'Mental Health First Aid' course
LEXINGTON, Ky. - It is a problem with a stigma attached to it that often only gets attention when tragedy strikes - yet, experts say, mental illness is more common than many might think. So Lexington's chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, is trying to teach folks to help others who are in crisis.
NAMI Lexington is hosting a Mental Health First Aid class on Friday to teach people to recognize the signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders and respond to them to help others get the help they need.
The class teaches a five-step action plan with the skills, resources and knowledge to help someone in crisis get the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care, according to the NAMI Lexington website.
It also addresses addiction and signs of substance use disorders. With that and mental illness often making news now for devastating reasons, experts say knowing how to identify it, respond to it and help is as important as ever.
"I think it's the perfect time to educate yourself and arm yourself with some tools where you can help with the problem instead of just being on the sidelines," said David Riggsby, program director for NAMI Lexington. "So many people don't seek treatment that it's really important to have folks there who can encourage them and give them some resources and direction on where to go when they're struggling in their life."
NAMI Lexington hosts the eight-hour, interactive Mental Health First Aid course several times a year. The next one is scheduled for Friday at Eastern State Hospital in Lexington. It costs $100 to attend, which includes a textbook, certification and food. Registration is required.
Get more information about the course or register online here. You can also register by calling (859) 272-7891.