Mental Health First Aid Overview by lq9085


									                      Mental Health First Aid Overview

The Mental Health First Aid course was broken up into five different sections as follows:

Mental Health and Mental Health Problems

In this section we learn about various statistics on mental health problems (prevalence
etc.) and learned about what mental health first aid (MHFA) is. We also spent a lot of
time talking about how to deal with mental health clients in a non-judgmental way. We
were introduced to the five basic actions of MHFA called ALGEE.

Assess the risk for suicide and/or harm
Listen non-judgmentally
Give reassurance and information
Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help
Encourage other supports
ALGEE is used in any acute situation when dealing with a mental health crisis. (Same
idea as the ABC’s in a physical first aid course).

Substance Related Disorders

This sections covers types of substances and the physical, emotional and social effects of
these various substances. We learned about recognizing signs of a drug overdose or
alcohol poisoning and what to do should we come across someone that has had an
overdose. We talked about the “Stages of Change” model when it comes to recovery of
individuals suffering from substance abuse.

Mood Disorders

This section covered what a mood disorder is and explained different types of mood
disorders (depression, bipolar, post-partum depression). There was discussion on suicide
and how to recognize signs of someone feeling suicidal and also how to intervene
appropriately. We also learned how to deal with someone in a manic state and discussed
how substance abuse affects mood disorders.
Anxiety Disorders

This section explained what an anxiety disorder is and the various types of anxiety
disorders like OCD, agoraphobia, PTSD, panic attacks etc. We learned how to help
someone that is having a panic attack and how to get him or her to regulate their
breathing and to calm down.

Psychotic Disorders

We learned about what a psychotic disorder is and the various types. We went over what
the common signs and symptoms are of someone developing a psychotic disorder. We
learned how to help a person that is having a psychotic episode.

*Throughout the training there was always emphasis on remaining non-judgmental in our
dealings with mental health patients. I thought the program was well laid out and
interactive as they varied the content with power point slides, various learning activities,
group work, video clips, and open discussion. This training is invaluable to all MOA's as
they will quickly be able to put these skills to use in their work environment. I believe
they will leave the training with a new way of looking at mental health patients and be
able to help and support them in a more compassionate and non-judgmental way.

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