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Published on June 28th, 2019 | by University Communications

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Student Affairs, Campus Safety, Student Success staff learn Mental Health First Aid

Saint Leo’s Student Affairs, Campus Safety, and Student Success personnel are learning more about helping the university’s students when they are in crisis. On June 27, staff members participated in Mental Health First Aid for Adults training at University Campus.

Presented by the Human Services Department in the College of Education and Social Services and Student Affairs, Mental Health First Aid introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illness and offers support techniques. University staff earned certificates for completing the 8-hour training.

The course not only provides participants with training to help students, but also for “whatever is community to them,” said facilitator Dr. Nancy Wood, director of the graduate human services administration program. “It can be fellow employees, family, neighbors, church members, anyone.”  

Dr. Felicia Wilson, associate professor of human services at the Gwinnett Education Center, co-facilitated the training.

The course uses role-playing and simulation 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 the common risk factors and warning signs of illnesses such as anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

Just like CPR training, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with assistance.

“When a person has a physical illness, people usually offer to help,” Wood said to training participants. “They say, ‘is there anything I can do for you?’ But with mental illness, that doesn’t always happen.”

Saint Leo offers Mental Health First Aid training for the public several times a year at various locations. On August 24, it will be offered at the Ocala Education Center.

If interested in learning more or to schedule training, contact Dr. Nancy Wood at nancy.wood@saintleo.edu.

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