MASON CITY, Iowa - The mental health crisis and identifying those in need of help is taking center stage in North Iowa.
Representatives from the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, the Court Appointed Special Advocates program and the YMCA among others came together for youth mental health first aid training from the North Iowa Youth Task Force. Participants received a three year certification.
Patrick Mackin is an advocate for CASA, and notes of one thing he learned in how to best point a person in need to the professional who can offer help.
"Understanding that we as Court Appointed Special Advocates are not qualified to treat or diagnose. We can lead people to seek that kind of assistance."
Kativa Weizel with the Chamber says it's key to include organizations that serve the public on a regular basis in the conversation and training.
"Reducing the stigma is one of the goals of the Worksite Wellness group here at the Chamber. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, so we thought this would be a perfect kickoff for employers to have the knowledge to help their employees, for the employees to help their customers. It's a whole chain. It deals with everybody in our community."
Nex Tuesday, a course is being offered at the North Iowa Regoinal Commerce Center for those who work with adults.