Mental health first aid should be as common as CPR. That is the premise behind a new campaign just launched by the National Council for Behavioral Health to train one million Americans through an eight-hour course designed to help people recognize when someone is suffering from a mental health disorder and to encourage intervention.
If someone suddenly collapsed and appeared to be having a heart attack, you wouldn’t just walk on by, right? You’d at least call 911. You’d likely stay with the person while the ambulance was coming. And if you were trained, you might even start CPR. Chances are that human decency would motivate you to do something.
So why is it that when we see obvious signs of mental or emotional crisis in a friend, colleague or even a casual acquaintance, our first reaction is to withdraw? We typically consider behavioral health issues too personal for our intervention, out of bounds for anyone but a family member or a very close friend.
The mentalhealthfirstaid.org website explains the logic behind the mental health training like this: “Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack — even if you have no clinical training — Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis.”
Mental health first aid courses are being offered throughout Arizona. Check here if you would like to find a course in your area. Please let us know what you think about this idea of making mental health training as common as CPR training. Finding solutions to these types of mental health issues are key to our vision of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!