Mental Health First Aid is a program made available to rural north Texas communities through the Dallas/Fort Worth Hospital Council (DFWHC). Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance abuse in your community.
A Behavioral Health Community Assessment Report released in February by the Community Health Collaborative revealed a lack of behavioral healthcare in North Texas. The Community Health Collaborative announced a commitment earlier this year to train 10,000 laypersons over the next three years in Mental Health First Aid across 16 counties including Ellis, Erath, Denton, Hood, Johnson, Navarro, Parker, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise.
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that:
Introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems,
Builds an understanding of their impact and
Overviews appropriate supports
An eight-hour course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care.
The program also teaches common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and schizophrenia.