Community members came together at The History Center in Tompkins County on July 9 to be trained in ways to help others who may be experiencing a mental health problem or crisis.
Melanie Little, director of Education at the Mental Health Association in Tompkins County, led the trainees through an eight-hour course in Mental Health First Aid, a program offered throughout the world that teaches everyday people the skills to support family members, friends, or others with mental health issues.
The 16 trainees were taught how to connect people to appropriate resources, that there is no-one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, and about the vital role that culture plays in how people understand and recover from mental health problems.
According to Little, ongoing research provides evidence that the trainings improve people’s understanding of mental health and help combat the stigma that persists in society around these issues.
“County residents from a wide variety of backgrounds came together to learn and improve their confidence in providing support for the people in their lives,” Little said. “While learning about recognizing and responding to mental health concerns, trainees came together in lively conversation, bringing up real-life situations and learning from each others’ experiences.”
The training was supported by The History Center, which provided space for the training, and by a grant from The Sophie Fund at the Community Foundation of Tompkins County.
The Mental Health Association has trained 113 people in Mental Health First Aid so far in 2022, with more courses planned for the rest of the year.
For more information or to inquire about receiving training in Mental Health First Aid, contact Melanie Little, director of Education at the Mental Health Association: firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 273 9250.