In response to the growing importance of mental health awareness, UR Medicine Thompson Health is extending its popular Mental Health First Aid class to the public. The program, initially introduced for staff members, aims to equip individuals with the skills to assist those experiencing mental health or substance use-related crises.
The course, designed by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, covers recognizing signs of mental health and substance-use challenges and responding effectively in crisis and non-crisis situations. Over 70 Thompson Health associates have already been certified, and the upcoming sessions in March are open to all staff members, including leadership.
The course’s relevance extends beyond professional settings, as officials note the likelihood of encountering mental health challenges in various life situations. Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive, with calls for the training to become mandatory due to its practicality and potential to reduce mental health stigma. Depending on community interest, Thompson Health plans to offer the course again, providing an affordable and valuable resource for enhancing mental health literacy in the community.
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