A new program seeks to educate the public about mental health crises and how to get treatment when a person is in trouble. The program has gained so much attention that Congress introduced a bill to provide major funding to expand public access to the program.
The bill was introduced by California Democrat Representative Doris Matsui and Kansas Republican Representative Lynn Jenkins. Should the bill pass, $20 million in grants will be authorized for the expansion of Mental Health First Aid training.
Mental Health First Aid is a program developed and studied in Australia. In the US, the program has been used by Resident Assistants (RAs) in college dormitories to identify and offer aid to students who are suffering from mental health conditions.
Of the many types of health conditions that occur, mental health conditions are often the most stigmatized. However, stigmatized or not, people suffering from mental health crises need treatment. As CPR training educates the population of what to do when a person is suffering from a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid educates them on what to do when a person is suffering from a mental health crisis.
The other goal of Mental Health First Aid is to reduce the stigma associated with mental health conditions and crisis. Peer-reviewed studies in Australia have shown that the program decreases the “social distance” that stands in the way of people helping those in need.
Major Public Health Benefits for Mental Health Crisis Training
One of the most amazing parts of the program is that it has been shown to improve the mental health and well-being of those who take the program. Having the confidence to identify mental health symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment helps those who take the courses feel more in control of their own lives.
The program also covers the identification and treatment of substance abuse problems. In any given year, only about 10% of those who suffer from substance abuse ever receive appropriate treatment. Depending on the community, some people may not realize that they have a substance abuse disorder until the problem is serious. By helping to identify substance abuse disorders early, patients can get treatment and have a better chance at not having substance abuse control their lives.
Identifying Problems Early Offers Path to Recovery
Getting substance abuse treatment early provides the best path to long-term recovery. Serenity House Detox provides advanced addiction medicine for those in need. Call Serenity House Detox about how you can get in control of your substance use in sunny South Florida.