C4 Trains People in Mental Health First Aid

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4) has trained more than 3,000 people in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) since the MHFA course was first introduced to the Chicagoland area by C4 in 2008. More than 3,000 people from 500 organizations have taken this eight-hour MHFA course, which is modeled after traditional First Aid and CPR classes. MHFA was developed to help members of the community support individuals who are developing mental health problems or experiencing mental health crisis. The training helps people identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

One in five people will experience a mental health problem this year. Studies of the MHFA course have shown that it increases participants’ understanding of mental health issues and treatments, connects people with appropriate care, and reduces the stigma of mental illness. During C4’s MHFA training, offered in English and Spanish, participants learn potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, trauma, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, and self-injury behavior.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

C4 has expanded its MHFA program to include a youth curriculum designed for those who work with young adults. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) provides information on social, emotional, and behavioral health challenges and disorders. MHFA trainings for individuals and groups are held regularly at C4. There are also trainings offered on-site at organizations with groups of 20-30 participants. To register for an upcoming training or to learn more about MHFA, go to www.c4chicago.org/mhfa or call 773-765-0814.

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