Mental Health First Aid training offers tools to help someone in a mental health crisis

Posted at 12:14 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 21:59:51-05

San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health is offering a first aid training with a twist. Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour session that provides an action plan on how to approach someone with a mental illness or who is having a mental health crisis in a non-stigmatizing way.

Alysia Hendry, the suicide prevention coordinator at SLO County Behavioral Health, says this training has been offered to multiple county officials and other local organizations, but it's open to anyone in the public.

"Parents of teens, for example, or even transitional age youth, young adults, people that even work with older adults, first responders, public safety officers, moms and dads, and guardians," Hendry said.

Hendry says 20% of adults experience a mental health condition but only half seek help and support. This training encourages participants to advocate for others and seek help earlier.

"It includes teaching the action plan, which includes which steps to help somebody, how to approach them in a non-stigmatizing way, we also aim to increase mental health literacy which research suggests helps reduce stigma as well," Hendry said.

The training can provide you with ways to be available when you come across someone who might be in need.

"If maybe you come across a friend or family member or sometimes even a stranger in crisis, this teaches you an action plan on how to get them to appropriate help," Hendry said.

Transitions Mental Health Association will also be hosting a Mental Health First Aid training on March 20 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For details on that training, click here.

For more information on training, visit