ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The APG Employee Assistance Program hosted a Mental Health First Aid course and certification, Jan. 11.
Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Harford County Department of Community Services, offered this eight-hour course to the health professional at Aberdeen Proving Ground, which will allow participants to render aid to others in need of help.
APG Alcohol and Drug Control Officer Timothy Knox, of the Army Substance Abuse Program determined that his staff and other healthcare professional needed to be equipped with addition tools to offer to the population at APG North (Aberdeen), APG South (Edgewood), and Adelphi Laboratory Center.
Knox felt that his staff could better prepare themselves as providers.
“We would like our first line supervisor to become equipped to identify when an employee is in trouble or in need of help,” he said.
This course offered the unique opportunity to become certified in Mental Health First Aid. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Mental Health Association of Maryland are the Mental Health First Aid sponsors for our state.
What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it helps trainees identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.
In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.
Topics covered in the course included:
- Depression and mood disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Substance Use disorders
The course was taught by instructors Kattie Badders and Tara Lathrop Harford County Department of Community Services.