HIBBING — Would you know what to do if someone was having a mental health emergency? Or even what it would look like?

Just as there are important first aid procedures for other medical emergencies, like choking or a heart attack, properly applied first aid for someone suffering a mental health crisis could make a huge difference in one’s life.

Fairview Range is hosting a mental health first aid class to help individuals learn to identify, understand and respond to adults experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.

The training will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 9 at Fairview Plaza in Hibbing. This class is free and open to the public.

“This training is important because family, friends and co-workers are often the first people to notice that someone is struggling, yet they often don’t know what to do about it,” said Cheryl Bisping, RN, CPP, community health outreach coordinator for Fairview Range. “This training fills that gap. We often hear about people trained in CPR or first aid, saving a life. This training can end up saving lives too.”

In the eight-hour class, participants use group discussions and role-playing to better understand the risk factors and warning signs of common mental illnesses and substance use disorders, strategies for how to help someone crisis and non-crisis situations, where to turn for help and non-judgmental communication and listening skills.

As Bisping pointed out, “Not only will participants learn what to do, but where to get help.”

Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognized evidence-based program that was created by and is managed by the National Council for Behavioral Health.

The need for this training was revealed through Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by Fairview Range in 2015.

“The results of that assessment identified mental health as an area that needed to be addressed,” Bisping explained. “Fairview and its partners chose to offer Mental Health First Aid classes to raise awareness of mental health issues and educate the public on risk factors and warning signs of those in a mental health crisis.”

Interested participants must register by June 2 and can do so by visiting the Eventbrite website: https://mhfa-june9.eventbrite.com or contact Cheryl Bisping at 218-312-3012 or Tiffany Utke at 612-706-4566.

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