Community members attended an eight-hour mental health first aid training at the Southeastern Utah District Health Department on Tuesday.
The training was presented by the only mental health first aid trainer at Four Corners Community Behavioral Health, Jonathon Fauver, and taught basic mental health recognition. The training is an adjunct to CPR, which is the physical first aid response.
Fauver said the purpose of this training is to get rid of the stigma that is associated with mental illness and be able to recognize when someone is suffering. “More than 50 percent of people will have some sort of mental health issue in their lifetime,” he said. “They need to know that help is available.”
Fauver said that people tend to feel ashamed by their illness and it usually takes ten years for them to come forward and get help. With this training, more people will be able to recognize when someone is struggling and offer them support and help.
He also stressed the importance of this training for not just professionals, but for community members as well. “We want to bring this to the general population so they can be able to recognize and ask questions in the beginning,” he said.
Meranda Saccamano, prevention coordinator and member of the Hope Squad of Carbon/Emery, organized this training and said she hopes this training will decrease the amount of people taking their own lives. “People are more likely to get help when they know it is available to them.”
Goals for the training centered around the acronym ALGEE: Assess for risk of suicide or harm, Listen nonjudgmentally, Give reassurance, Encourage appropriate professional help and Encourage self help and other support.
Saccomano said she was pleased with the response from the community on having this training and hopes to be able to do it again.
If there are any questions about the training or other mental health resources, visit the Hope Squad of Carbon/Emery Facebook page.