As of…50 minutes ago (4:30pm, October 26th), I became a CERTIFIED Mental Health First Aid Responder. How amazing is that?!
I would never have heard of this two-day course offered at CC if my friend Flora hadn’t told me about it, so props to you girlie! The course was free since CC sponsored it, so each day from 9:30am – 4:30pm was spent in the Loomis lounge under the guidance of Moe Keller and Bianca Michan. We learned about the 5 Types of Disorders: depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance abuse and eating disorders. They also provided us with lunch! Today we had pizza (sadly), but yesterday I had Panera Bread’sSmoked Ham and Swiss sandwich (96% fat-free smoked ham, swiss, leaf lettuce, tomatoes and red onions with salt and pepper, all served on your favorite sandwich bread). It was delicious!
There were 22 of us, so we had lots of fun doing the group interactive activities – I had no idea that so many of us could be Theatre majors haha! We learned how to identify people suffering from a disorder, what the disorder is most likely to be, how to approach and offer help to said person, and who to call for professional help. We learned the 5-step program of Mental Health First Aid USA (MHFA), called ALGEE.
- Assess for risk of suicide or harm
- Listen non-judgementally
- Give reassurance and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies
All in all, we left the course with more information on the different types of mental disorders, and steps on how to interact with people suffering from a psychotic breakdown or panic attack – more specifically, how to make them feel safe and calm down while calling the paramedics.
It would have been nice if they had written my name in black marker, but at least they spelled my name correctly!