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Mental Health First Aid class offered February 25 and 26

An average of 123 lives are lost to suicide each day, and nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with a mental illness.

Here in rural America, stigma or a shortage of mental health providers can mean that many people don’t seek help when they need it. But just as individuals can learn CPR or first aid for physical injuries, those who want to help can learn how to assist someone having a mental health crisis.

A Mental Health First Aid class will be offered in Onaga on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 25 and 26 at Onaga Community Hospital. The class is from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. both days in the North Basement Conference Room. The cost is $25 and includes a light breakfast. Certified instructors Roz Lewis and Angie Sauvage from Community HealthCare System will lead the highly interactive class. Attendees can pay with cash or check when they arrive. Registration is required; please contact Marlene Wolfe at [email protected] or 785-889-5002. Class size is limited, so be sure to register soon.

Mental Health First Aid teaches common signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance abuse, how to interact with a person in crisis, how to connect the person with help, how to assess, listen, give reassurance, encourage professional help, and more.

“Mental Health First Aid is all about recognizing the signs and symptoms of someone who may be struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, knowing how and when to reach out to them, and connecting them with appropriate resources. Mental Health First Aiders can be the difference for someone in need when they know what to look for and how to engage people in open conversations,”  said Sauvage, Licensed Master Social Worker and Mental Health First Aid instructor.

A limited number of scholarships are available for the class. Those in need of assistance can contact Angie at [email protected]. CHCS associates should register but can attend free of charge. 


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