The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative announces online Mental Health First Aid training will now be available to entertainment industry workers in the U.S. at a variety of days and times on an ongoing basis. Mental Health First Aid is a training course that gives you the skills you need 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, and help connect them to the appropriate care.
Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack—we’d start CPR, or at the very least, call 9-1-1. But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack, or if we were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of alcoholism. Mental Health First Aid is an international training program that was created in Australia in 2000, brought to the U.S. in 2008, and is now in 24 countries around the world. Upon completing the course you will become a certified Mental Health First Aider which is valid for three years.
Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by teaching you how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen non judgmentally and give reassurance to someone who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.
The course is delivered in two parts. The first is a 2-4 hour self-paced online course that must be completed prior to the second part which is a 5 hour virtual live instructor led session. Go to btshelp.org/mhfa to learn more and to select the date and time you wish to attend the virtual live instructor led session. Dates are currently available through May and future dates will be added each month.
The registration fee is $125. IATSE Members and those working under IATSE agreements may be eligible for Training Trust Fund reimbursement upon proof of successful completion of the course. A limited number of partial and full scholarships are available to individuals not eligible for reimbursement. Training for Canadians is available through the AFC at https://afchelps.ca/mhfa.
Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your skill sets by learning how to identify, understand and respond to signs of distress in your colleagues and help make our workplaces healthier and safer spaces for all. Visit btshelp.org/mentalhealth to see all the available tools and resources.