ETSU offering ‘Mental Health First Aid’ course

Published 9:37 am Friday, November 10, 2023

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East Tennessee State University’s Office of Professional Development will offer two “Mental Health First Aid” trainings this month.
“Mental Health First Aid” is a public education program that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses, builds understanding of their impact and gives an overview of common support frameworks.
Training will take place on Nov. 14 at the ETSU Innovation Lab and on Nov. 17 at ETSU at Sevierville. The skills-based course is designed to teach people how to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health or substance use challenges. Similar to physical first aid and CPR training, “Mental Health First Aid” aims to train participants on how to assist someone experiencing a crisis until professional assistance is obtained or the crisis is resolved.
One-in-five Americans has experienced a mental health challenge, but many are reluctant to seek help or don’t know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges can be difficult to see. Friends and family members may find it hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not receive care when needed.
“Mental Health First Aid” participants learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support and is for anyone interested in helping to make their community healthier, happier and safer.
“I’m looking forward to community conversations that work toward erasing the stigma that surrounds mental health,” said instructor Ruth Taylor Read. “It is important in every community that mental health has the same quality of support that we see in physical health.”
From classroom experiences to public workshops, ETSU aims to improve the quality of life for the people of this region and beyond.
For more information and to enroll, visit the course registration page at or call (800) 222-3878. For disability accommodations, contact the ETSU Office of Disability Services at (423) 439-8346.

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