FD to offer mental first aid class

Many people would know how to help if they see someone having a heart attack– start CPR, or at the very least, call 9-1-1. But too few people would know how to respond if they saw someone having a panic attack or if they were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of alcoholism.

The city of Fort Dodge is offering a free eight-hour Mental Health First Aid course that will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on two separate days, March 16 and March 30, in the Fort Dodge City Council Chambers. Class sizes are limited to 30 individuals. To register, call Amanda at 576-6869 or email her at aholmes@fortdodgeiowa.org by March 3.

Mental Health First Aid teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives the skills needed to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by improving understanding and providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental illness or substance use disorder.