The David Lawrence Center offers first aid for mental health

NAPLES, Florida – One in five people has some form of mental health. With the recent mass shootings and the rise in suicides, recognizing the signs of a mental health problem is more important than ever. The David Lawrence Behavioral Centers do this with their mental health first aid courses.

“Just as CPR and basic first aid are well known, so they know how to intervene medically, that’s the same principle,” said Jessica Lyria, a community outreach specialist at the David Lawrence Centers.

She said the goal is for everyone to be able to intervene when someone is in a state of mental health.

“First aid for mental health is a world-renowned evidence-based training program,” she said.

Anyone in the community can take it. The David Lawrence Centers have five trained instructors. Register for the course online and it will teach you how to spot when someone has a mental health problem, and set out an action plan so that you feel comfortable and confident to step in to help.

“Understanding how to do this and understanding what to say or what to do, or what kind of presence to have in front of someone while working through some of their struggles, and there really is just compassion,” Lyria said.

One module helps work with other adults who have mental health problems. Lyria said the course would be good for caregivers, neighbors, friends, relatives, staff or colleagues.

The other module helps work with children and teenagers with mental health problems.

“We really recommend this for parents, coaches, young people, pastors, teachers, everyone in the education system,” Lyria said.

Madison McNally, program director of the STARability Foundation in Collier County, took a first aid course on young people’s mental health.

“As soon as I found out about the training, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me and our staff,” McNally said.

The STARability Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Many of the participants we serve in our community actually have secondary conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc.,” McNally said.

They work with both teenagers and adults, so McNally is also signing up for the next adult module.

The training is divided into two different sections: crisis situations and non-crisis situations.

“At what point do these signs and symptoms go from early or worsening signs to signs of crisis? And then how do you differentiate between the two? What resources can vary depending on what a person is going through?” said Lyria.

She said the courses are particularly important at the moment due to current trends at the David Lawrence Centers.

“We are seeing record numbers of crises and people coming to our crisis unit for suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts,” she said.

McNally said first aid training for mental health has helped them create a plan if someone is in a mental health crisis.

“Maybe it’s something in the staff, maybe it’s someone you serve, maybe it’s someone who’s off the street. What would you do if a person going through a mental health crisis came into your facility? How would you handle that? ”She said.

“We all have the power to make such a big difference,” Lyria said.

The David Lawrence Centers conducted a mental health first aid training for the adult module on June 24. To register, click here.

There is a Mental Health First Aid training for their youth module on July 29th. To register, click here.

The training is virtual and costs $ 23.95. The first two hours are on their own, then the rest are done in a group setting with an instructor. It is made quarterly.

You can also schedule group training for your business or organization. For more information, email [email protected]

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