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Howell mental health first aid training session scheduled for May 15

HOWELL – The Howell Alliance for substance use prevention and mental health awareness will host a mental health first aid certification training session at the Howell municipal building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 15.

The training session will give people the tools to identify when someone else may be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary, according to a press release from the alliance.

For registrants, a virtual training platform will be in place for the same date and time, should the in-person training not be permitted per state or local gathering regulations.

Although one in five Americans has a mental illness, people of all ages are reluctant to seek help due to fear of stigmas or because they may not know where to turn for care, according to the press release.

Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. For friends and family members, it can be hard to know when and how to step in.

As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get them until it is too late, according to the press release.

Just as cardiopulmonary resuscitation empowers those without clinical training to assist an individual who is having a heart attack, mental health first aid prepares participants to confidently interact with a person who is experiencing a mental health crisis.

Mental health first-aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

“Through this program, we hope to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems,” said Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which helped bring mental health first aid to the United States in 2008.

“When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need,” he said.

In 10 years, mental health first aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States; more than one million people are certified mental health first-aiders and that number is growing every day, according to the press release.

To register for the May 15 training session in Howell, visit Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mental-health-first-aid-certificate-training-tickets-147887580735

Participants must wear a face covering and bring their own food and drinks for the day, and be prepared for virtual training as an alternative training option that day.

For event information, contact Christa Riddle by email at criddle@twp.howell.nj.us or call 732-938-4500, ext. 4012.

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