May is Mental Health Awareness Month. There are many ways people can support the mental health of family, colleagues and friends.
Here are some programs that train people to become mental health advocates in their communities.
Mental Health First Aid: Sponsored by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Mental Health First Aid is “a skills-based training course that teaches participants to identify, understand and respond to mental health and substance use challenges.”
Psychological First Aid: Supporting Yourself and Others During COVID-19: Hosted by the American Red Cross, this one-hour online course is “designed for anyone interested in learning techniques for supporting mental health during the COVID-19 crisis.” Even as coronavirus cases decline in some areas, the pandemic’s mental health effects are expected to linger for quite some time.
LivingWorks: This organization offers a host of suicide prevention training programs, including online and in-person instruction.
Navigating a Mental Health Crisis: This self-directed guide, published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, can assist those who are experiencing a mental health crisis and those seeking to help them.
CDC’s Suicide Prevention Resources: Provides suicide prevention strategies and access to national suicide prevention hotlines.
In addition to these resources, there are state-based programs and organizations that may provide other mental health training opportunities.
Note: If you or someone you know is thinking of harming themselves, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free support at 1-800-273-8255. Beginning July 16, 2022, U.S. residents can also be connected to the Lifeline by dialing 988. For more about risk factors and warning signs, visit the organization’s official website.
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