Mental Health First Aid

Free Suicide Awareness, Prevention, and Intervention Training Available

There are a variety of suicide awareness, prevention, and intervention programs available for Essex County communities.  Many can be brought to your community, organization or school at no charge to you.  If you aren’t sure which program is right for you, contact Shelby at (518) 962-2077 ext. 101 or shelby@mhainessex.org for a training consultation.

QPR – Question, Persuade and Refer – Three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.  Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade and refer someone to help.  QPR can be learned in as little as one hour.

esuicideTALK – esuicideTALK is a 1-2 hour online awareness session that helps participants reduce stigma and become more aware of suicide prevention opportunties in their communities.

suicideTALK – suicideTALK is a 90-minute to half day session that helps participants, regardless of prior training or experience, be more aware of suicide prevention opportunities in their communities.  Dealing openly with the stigma around suicide, this exploration focuses upon the question “Should we talk about suicide?”  By looking at this question in a number of different ways, session members can discover some of the beliefs and ideas about suicide in their communities – and in themselves.

safeTALK – SafeTALK is a three-hour training that prepares anyone over the age of 15, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.  Most people with thoughts of suicide don’t truly want to die, but are struggling with the pain in their lives.  Through their words and actions, they invite help to stay alive.  safeTALK-trained helpers can recognize these invitations and take action by connecting them with life-saving intervention resources.

Mental Health First Aid – Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.  The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.  Curriculums are offered for Adults, Youth, Higher Education, Public Safety and CIT, Military Members, Veterans and their Families, and Older Adults.

Talk Saves Lives: An Introduction to Suicide Prevention.  A community-based presentation that covers the general scope of suicide, the research on prevention, and what people can do to fight suicide.  Attendees will learn the risk and warning signs of suicide, and how together, to help prevent it.

It’s Real:  College Students and Mental Health.  It’s Real is a documentary featuring the stories of six college students from across the country.  The film is designed to raise awareness about mental health issues commonly experienced by students, and is intended to be used as part of a school’s educational program to encourage help-seeking.

More than Sad:  This program teaches teens to recognize the signs of depression in themselves and others, challenges the stigma surrounding depression, and demystifies the treatment process.   It teaches parents how to recognize signs of depression and other mental health problems, initiate a conversation about mental health with their child, and get help.  It teaches educators to recognize signs of mental health distress in students and refer them for help.  The program complies with the requirements for teacher education suicide prevention training in many states.

Lifelines:  A Suicide Prevention Program.  Lifelines is a trilogy of programs based on over 20 years of suicide-in-youth research that indicates an informed community can help to prevent vulnerable teens from ending their lives.  This whole school program is made up of three unique components:  Prevention, Intervention and Postvention.  Training includes curriculum for school administrators, faculty, students and parents.

Training programs are sponsored by the Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Suicide Prevention Coalition offers Training Programs

The Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition aims to implement community-based suicide awareness, prevention, intervention and recovery programs by providing Evidence-Based and Best Practice training models at low or no cost.

Here are some of the available programs:

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — Three simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. QPR can be learned in as little as one hour.

SafeTALK is a 3 training that prepares anyone over the age of 15 to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. Most people with thoughts of suicide invite help to stay safe. Alert helpers know how to use these opportunities to support that desire for safety. Powerful video clips illustrate both non-alert and alert responses. Discussion and practice help stimulate learning. Learn steps that contribute to saving lives.

ASIST is a two-day intensive, interactive and practice-dominated course designed to help caregivers recognize and review risk, and intervene to prevent the immediate risk of suicide. Professionals, volunteers and informal helpers all need to know how to help persons with thoughts of suicide in ways that increase their suicide safety.

Creating Suicide Safety in Schools, or CSSS, is a six-hour workshop for school planning teams that looks at four basic categories of preparedness and additional foundational supports.  Often several schools in a district or an area come together to host the training and each sends a planning team.

Lifelines is an Evidence-Based, whole-school program made up of three unique components: Prevention, Intervention and Postvention. The Lifelines trilogy is based on over 20 years of suicide-in-youth research that indicates an informed community can help to prevent vulnerable teens from ending their lives.

Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common supports. This eight-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect persons to the appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses, like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.  There are specific programs for Youth, Adults, Public Safety, Rural, Higher Education and Faith Communities.

If you aren’t sure which training program is right for you or for a free training consultation, contact Shelby at 518-962-2077 ext. 229.  You can also download a list of the available training programs here.

Essex County Residents now certified in Mental Health First Aid!

Congratulations to the newest group of Essex County residents certified in Mental Health First Aid! With the gorgeous backdrop of the lake as the view, they spent all day yesterday in Lake Placid learning about common mental health disorders, signs and symptoms, risk factors, how to recognize a mental health crisis, and what to do to assist a person experiencing a crisis until the situation can be deescalated and how to refer to appropriate treatment.  For more information about Mental Health First Aid, visit mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

Mental Health First Aid training, along with other mental health and suicide prevention training, is brought to Essex County by a grant through Senator Betty Little‘s office. Without these generous grant funds, the Coalition would not be able to provide community education, outreach, and many other services. Many thanks to Senator Little for making suicide prevention and mental health a priority.

Our next class is Tuesday, July 25 in Lewis. There are a couple spots available if you are interested in attending. Register at https://mhainessex.wufoo.com/forms/mhfa-lewis-72517/

Suicide Prevention Coalition offers three Adult Mental Health First Aid courses

The Essex County Suicide Prevention Coalition will be hosting three sessions of the Adult Mental Health First Aid Course in July; one in Lake Placid, one in Ticonderoga, and one in Lewis.  The Adult Mental Health First Aid course is appropriate for anyone 18 years and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. The 8-hour training helps you identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions.

Just as CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Mental Health First Aiders learn a single 5-step strategy that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other supports. Participants are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families, and learn about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.

Registration and materials are provided at no cost to the participant, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Adult Mental Health First Aid – Ticonderoga
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Cornerstone Alliance Church 
175 Montcalm St, Ticonderoga
Click here to register for MHFA Ticonderoga on July 11 

Adult Mental Health First Aid – Lake Placid
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Beach House Community Center
31 Parkside, Lake Placid
Click here to register for MHFA Lake Placid on July 18

Adult Mental Health First Aid – Lewis
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Essex County Public Safety Building
702 Stowersville Road, Lewis
Click here to register for MHFA Lewis on July 25