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Ken Watts | 10/4/2013, 6 a.m.
Registration is now under way for a certification course for the Mental Health First Aid adult public education program offered by the DeKalb Community Service Board.
The eight-hour course will be held Oct. 24 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Richardson Health Center in Decatur.
It is coordinated by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.
Participants will learn to identify, understand and respond to adults experiencing signs of mental illness and substance use disorders and recognize warning signs and risk factors for depression, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychotic disorders, eating disorders and substance use.
The course teaches a five-step action plan to help an individual in crisis connect to professional care, and participants will learn what resources are available in the community.
DeKalb CSB first offered the course in the spring.
Holly Pounders, who has more than 30 years of experience in public behavioral health, will teach the course.
With 20 percent of U.S. adults affected by a mental disorder annually, Pounders said that the more all of us know about mental illness, the more we can help reduce the stigma and encourage those afflicted to get help.
“Mental Health First Aid is an exceptional training event that will help educate you about mental illness but more importantly can give you practical experience in what you can do to help,” she said.
Monifa Holman, operations manager for Resident Services at the Housing Authority of DeKalb County, said the training is invaluable.
“The training gave our staff a much-needed foundation to approach the difficult topic of mental health,” she said. “We now feel better equipped to recognize where intervention is needed and to provide referrals to professional, self-help and other support services.”
The course is open to the general public. To register or for more information, visit www.dekcsb.org or contact Michelle Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-508-7875.