Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mental Health First Aid in Tagalog and English

RAMS' Asian & Pacific Islander Mental Health Collaborative is pleased to announce that its community collaborator, San Francisco Filipino Mental Health Initiative, will be offering a Mental Health First Aid course in Tagalog and English. When a mental health crisis happens, people are often wondering what to do and generally unable to detect early signs of mental health issues. Mental Health First Aid training addresses these questions and offers participants with the knowledge & skills to recognize warning signs, how to assess a mental health crisis, and how to act during the crisis situation. During the month of May, SF Filipino Mental Health Initiative is offering FREE Mental Health First Aid courses, sponsored by RAMS and funded by Mental Health Services Act through Community Behavioral Health Services-San Francisco Department of Public Health. The course will train seniors, caregivers, and community members.

For more information, and if you are interested in this training, please contact Joyce Vives-Diloy, MSW at: sfofmhi@gmail.com

According to the National Council on Behavioral Health:
Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. The course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect persons to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources. Mental Health First Aid allows for early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. The program offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” Participants are introduced to local mental health resources, national organizations, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support.

One in five Americans has a mental illness and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect — even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment – which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. As a society, we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, and we ignore our role as responsible community members to help people experiencing these illnesses.
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