Why Mental Health Matters. Educate and Advocate.

Rush is offering mental health first aid training
A man looking anxious

This pandemic year has taken a toll on all of us, and it has been particularly tough on our mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that the percentage of people reporting a mental health condition has doubled over the last year, from 20% to 40% or more.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is “You Are Not Alone.” Now more than ever, says NAMI, we need to find ways to stay connected with our community. No one should feel alone or without the information, support and help they need.

If you’re dealing with mental health challenges and need to take the first step to get help, contact: NAMI Helpline and Rush School Based Health Centers.

And if you want to learn how to offer support to those who are facing challenges: Sign up to take Rush’s Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training course.

Mental Health First Aid is an early intervention public intervention program. It teaches adults how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen nonjudgmentally and give reassurance to a person who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.

If you’ve ever felt helpless when you see someone in distress, you can feel confident that you’ll learn what to do after you complete the eight-hour MHFA certification course.

Nathaniel Powell, a social worker and lead community health worker at Rush, is a certified MHFA instructor. “Just like CPR, which gives you an action plan to help someone who may be experiencing a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid provides an action plan” to help someone having a mental health crisis, he explains — although in reality you’re far more likely to have an opportunity to use MHFA training than CPR training.

Hear more from Powell about why mental health matters and how MHFA training can benefit everyone.

You can take a MHFA training course in your area or bring one to your church or nonprofit organization. For more information, sign up here, email mhfa@rush.edu or call (312) 563-9046.

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