ROCHESTER, Minn. – Local organizations are partnering up to offer reduced priced mental health first aid trainings to people in the community. The trainings are designed to teach people how to help young people and adults who are experiencing a mental health or addiction situation.
Mental health is a growing issue across the country. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly one in five Americans suffer from mental illness every year.
The partnership is made up of NAMI Southeast Minnesota, Family Service Rochester, and Zumbro Valley Health Center. According to organizers, the reduced priced trainings are thanks to Mayo Clinic award dollars.
Luke Mattheisen, the mobile crisis coordinator for Crisis Response for Southeast Minnesota, said these trainings help with the negative stigma surrounding mental health.
“Really these groups are really helpful in identifying you know when do we kind of need to step in and how do we ask someone if they're doing OK,” Mattheisen said. “And then when we do, what do you do with that information? How do you reach out for help? And what kind of help is out there to reach out to?”
The trainings are held at the Rochester Community Education Center. Mental health professionals taught people who regularly interact with young people how to help them in a mental health situation.
People in attendance talked through scenarios and learned the acronym “ALGEE,” the five-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.
1. Assess for suicide or self-harm
2. Listen non-judgmentally
3. Give reassurance and information
4. Encourage professional help
5. Encourage self-help
Brianna Harmening is the director of the Olmsted County Juvenile Detention Center and attended the training. She said it’s important for everyone to attend these trainings to learn about mental health, stay up to date on what to do in a crisis situation, and make sure the right resources are given to the right youth at the right time.
“You want to be able to reach every single youth,” Harmening said, “and it can affect everybody and people put a stereotype, ‘oh maybe it's something very serious’ and at times it can be. But it can be just making sure like if someone comes in and they have had some significant life changes or suffered a loss, that they're getting those things addressed.”
The next mental health first aid training dates are Dec. 7 and 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., and Dec. 11 and 12 from 5:30 to 9:45 p.m. for youth. The cost is $22. You can find more information by clicking here.