For individuals in Alexandria still looking to understand and assist those affected by mental illness, there are a couple training options available.
The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) offers Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training for laypersons and paraprofessionals. MHFA is an eight-hour training and certification on skills to help persons who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.
The training demonstrates the initial help given to a person showing signs of mental illness or a mental health crisis. The course teaches risk factors, warning signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use disorders, the effects of the illnesses, an overview of treatments and a five-step action plan for helping someone with symptoms. More information about the training is available. Visit the online registration page. Registration is open until filled. Limit 20 participants per class.
Upcoming MHFA trainings include:
- Youth MHFA October 24 & 26, 2016 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Beatley Library
• Adult MHFA, November 8 & 10, 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. at 4480 King St.
Another tool for adults in Alexandria, who work with youth, is Kognito mental health training in ‘gatekeeper skills’ through online at-risk training simulations. This short interactive training is designed for individuals with youth in their lives, including mentors, juvenile justice professionals, school staff, recreation professionals and human-service staff.
Nearly one in five teens suffers from a mental disorder, such as depression or anxiety, and suicide remains the third leading cause of death in this age group.
Find out more about Kognito training at nova.kognito.com. Neither training is recommended for licensed clinicians.
The City of Alexandria is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. To request a reasonable accommodation, email Maurice Tomdio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 571.384.5244.