EHF organizes Mental Health First Aid trainings

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In response to congregations’ desire to address local mental health needs, EHF’s Congregational Engagement is launching a series of Mental Health First Aid trainings in January 2016.  The training is an eight-hour course that is designed to equip people with the tools necessary to help someone who is experiencing a mental health need or crisis. It’s an evidence-based program that has been shown to build mental health literacy and help people with no clinical training better understand and respond to signs of mental illness and effectively refer people to professional help.  

So far, four trainings have been scheduled and more are being planned both in English and in Spanish. The first four will take place in the following locations:

  • Austin – January 13 & 14, 2016
    St. David’s Episcopal Church
    9:30am – 2:00 pm
    By invitation only
  • Nacogdoches – Saturday, January 23, 2016
    Christ Episcopal Church
    8:30am – 5pm
    Open registration
    Register here
  •  La Porte – Saturday, February 6, 2016
    St. John’s Episcopal Church
    8:30am – 5pm
    Open registration
    Register here
  •  Galveston – St. Vincent’s House
    Saturday, February 20, 2016
    8:30am – 5pm
    Open registration
    Register here

EHF is supporting the training so it can be offered free to participants. The Foundation is also helping to arrange for trainers and materials. Host congregations are responsible for identifying and registering participants and managing local logistics for the training.

More information on Mental Health First Aid training:
Mental Health First Aid is the help offered to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Support is provided for a short period of time until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis is resolved.  The skills learned are clearly ones that can be of use in the context of congregations, schools and other institutions of the Diocese, as well as in homes and communities.

What participants will learn:

  • Risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns
  • Information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis and substance use
  • A five-step plan to help someone developing a mental health concern or is in crisis
  • Available, evidence-based professional, peer and self-help resources
  • Prevalence of mental health problems
  • Signs and symptoms of depression
  • Crisis first aid for traumatic events, acute psychosis, overdose and withdrawal


Why would someone be interested in learning about mental health first aid?

  • Mental health problems are common in our communities and represent a significant health burden. 
  • Stigma is often associated with mental health problems, but training can reduce stigma and effectively support people to seek help.
  • Professional help is not always at hand when during a crisis.
  • Individuals with mental health problems often seek help from the church as a first step, if at all.
  • Many people are not well informed about mental health problems and do not always know how to respond. 
  • Churches and faith communities are sometimes the first place people with mental health issues will go to seek support, solace, and community. 
  • MOST importantly — we can learn skills that will enable us to be of help!

Check back periodically on our Learning Opportunities page for announcements about our Mental Health First Aid trainings planned for your area.  For open registration trainings, you can sign up on line.  If you’re interested in hosting a training at your church, school or institution of the Diocese, contact EHF’s Bob Flick at 823.807.2582 or [email protected].

To learn more about Mental Health First Aid visit: http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/