Mental Health First Aid clinics teach how to respond in crisis

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least one in every six adults in the US lives with some sort of mental illness.

By: Maggie Vespa, KGW Reporter

May 4, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. — Friday morning, in a small conference room in Northeast Portland, about a dozen adults divided up into groups of three or four and did their best to draw anxiety.

“When you’re feeling anxious you feel quite small,” said one participant, holding up her group’s poster. “We put words and objects, such as ‘fear’ and ‘incapable’.”

The exercise was part of a Mental Health First Aid clinic, a free class taking place every Friday in May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.

“Just in the same way that you might take a first aid course for someone experiencing a heart attack, it’s really going to help individuals understand that mental health concerns are very common and perhaps we need to have greater empathy,” said Dr. Jeffrey Eisen, chief medical officer of Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare.

Like the instructors leading the seminar, Dr. Eisen was quick to point to statistics showing just how prevalent mental health is in modern day society.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least one in every six adults in the U.S. lives with some sort of mental illness.

Among America’s homeless the numbers are even higher.

Twenty-six percent of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness, according to NAMI, and an estimated 46 percent live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

Cascadia’s Mental Health First Aid training is free and open to the public, through May, but space is limited.

To sign up, click here.

More: Mental Health By The Numbers

If you would like Cascadia’s Mental Health First Aid training to be taught at your signalization or work place, contact us.

To watch the original video and read the original story by KGW, visit the website here.

2018-12-14T14:51:18-08:00