Following deadly shooting in California, Michigan health officials promote mental health first aid training

The recent deadly shooting in California may turn out to be the latest example of violence related to mental illness. Michigan public health officials are promoting trainings this month on what they call mental health first aid.

The 8-hour training teaches a five-step approach to assess a person’s mental health condition, and help them find appropriate care, if it’s needed.

Angela Minicucci, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health said this is a case where an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. “Too often, we’ve seen that law enforcement have to deal with mental health issues. Instead, there are resources available in our communities. So we’re going to be training parents, we’re going to be working with teachers, clergy, community leaders, to help them understand what signs and risk factors to look for and then what resources are available in their community to get people into the appropriate form of care,” she said.

Minicucci says state health officials would like to see first aid classes for mental health become as common as first aid classes for physical health.

ON THE WEB:
Mental Health First Aid Training: www.michigan.gov/mentalhealthfirstaid

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