Every year, we remind you that May is Mental Health Awareness month. Because one in every 4-5 people suffers from a mental health issue which is debilitating enough to be considered a mental illness, we can safely say that these disorders are very common. You probably know someone who is suffering, and you may not even know it. WHY? While we are openly talking about mental health like never before in the history of our country, we find that the stigma associated with mental illness still prevails enough that many people simply won’t admit to having a problem.
How do we change this? The answer is simple: Keep Talking About Mental Health. Talk about good mental health, as well as the disorders. Make everyone you come across aware of what Sanger said: “There is no health without mental health.” A person’s mental health is as important, if not more important, than their physical health. Mental illness, often, starts in childhood and recovery is possible if we can catch it on time; however, it often takes a decade or more before people seek help or get treatment.
Early intervention is key to success and recovery, so people need to feel safe enough to talk about their mental health issues without the feelings of impending judgement. We can help by learning and practicing active and non-judgemental listening skills and allowing people to tell us what is happening to them. We can openly talk about mental health. We can change the way we talk about mental illness and how we present the topics to our friends and family members. We can change mental health policies at work, especially those which limit future potential for those who openly admit they have mental health issues. Afterall, mental illness is rarely permanent and will affect each and every one of us sometime during our lives, even if we don’t want to admit it.
May is Mental Health Awareness month. At any given moment, one in every 4-5 people will suffer from a serious mental health disorder. Who do you know that you can help?
Attention all Firefighters and EMS personnel and your support teams:
The National Council for Behavioral Health, the agency which provides the certification for Mental Health First Aid and YOUTH Mental Health First Aid, has released a new version of the adult certification class created especially for Firefighters and EMS personnel. We are excited to be able to offer this training to you.
You are the heros who do the work that no one else wants to do and are often the first people on the scene to encounter those who are suffering or are experiencing extreme situational distress. In addition, you and your team, often, are engulfed in this stressful life on a consistent basis. The Mental Health First Aid for Fire and EMS Personnel certification class provides you with a series of tools which can help you to be more effective as a community helper and team member. You will learn about the most common mental disorders which you are likely to encounter, what the protective and risk factors are, what signs and symptoms to look for, and how to implement the ALGEE action plan to assist others until they can get appropriate professional help.
Pam, our MHFA instructor, is the first in the State of Indiana to be certified to teach the Fire & EMS version of the MHFA certification class and has just scheduled our first training. If your Fire Department or Ambulance Service is interested in hosting a certification seminar, give us a call or email us for information. (317) 922-8022 MHFA@educationwellness.org
Help us spread the word, and let’s get as many Firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, drivers, dispatchers, and other support personnel certified as possible! We look forward to seeing you in class!