Mental Health First Aid
For adults in rural Mississippi, Extension offers Mental Health First Aid, an 8-hour course that teaches individuals how better to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health problems or crises, such as substance-use disorders.
Opioid-use disorder and mental health go hand-in-hand. Not only is opioid-use disorder a mental health problem, but often individuals try to cope with underlying mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, with opioids or other substances.
MSU Extension offers both Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid training. For more information about the training or scheduling a session, please contact Mary Nelson Robertson.
Adult Mental Health First Aid Training
Teaches people how to recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in adults ages 18 and older, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate care, if necessary.
The course teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help adults in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics include anxiety, depression, psychosis, and addictions.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Designed to teach adults who regularly interact with young people, including parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens, about how to help adolescents (ages 12–18) experiencing a crisis or facing a mental health or addiction challenge.
The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including ADHD), and eating disorders.
When confronted with the need to change or adapt to life’s circumstances, people cope with the resulting stress in many ways. David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the domino effect of multiple changes caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic may result in trauma.
“Usually trauma is a major life event that leads to intense stress reactions,” Buys said. “But we are seeing so many changes in such a short time it’s a struggle to manage our feelings and thoughts without falling into anxiety and depression.”