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Mental Health First Aid Training, Knowing The Signs Of A Crisis

The Helpline Center in Sioux Falls is leading a mental health first aid training. The 8-hour long session teaches people to look for the signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis and how to help.

Mental health first aid is giving help to someone after noticing signs of illness or distress. Lori Montis is the Suicide and Crisis Support Director at the Helpline Center. She says the training teaches anyone to recognize symptoms and respond.

"So we talk just a little bit in the mental health first aid training about some of the common diagnoses that you see as far as mental health concerns, and so we look depression, anxiety, sycosis, substance abuse disorders, and then along with each of these we really do look at how would you know if somebody's maybe struggling with one of those diagnoses. So we talk about the different symptoms that you might notice that would indicate the person is either developing a mental health problem or they are either experiencing a mental health crisis," Montis says.

Montis says the first step in helping with a crisis situation is noticing what is going on and offering support.

"You know you might encounter somebody that is struggling with a mental health issue in any kind of setting. So it might be someone you see at church, or it might be someone you encounter and I think that's why it's so important for everybody to kind of learn just what you look for and what you can do," Montis says.

The training teaches a five step action plan, similar to CPR training. Montis says anyone who works with people on a daily basis would benefit from the course.

The next training session is July 24th. To register for the free event, contact the helpline center by dialing 211.