Free mental health first-aid classes are being offered throughout the Rogue Valley to teach people the five steps to help someone experiencing signs of a mental illness.
The eight-hour classes teach people to assess for risk of suicide or harm, listen nonjudgmentally, give reassurance and information, encourage appropriate professional help and encourage self-help and other support strategies.
With one in five Americans experiencing a mental health issue each year, experts point out that the average person is more likely to encounter someone in an emotional or mental health crisis than a person having a heart attack.
The classes are for first responders, students, teachers, leaders of faith communities, human resource professionals and other caring residents, organizers said.
Participants will learn how to help friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors and other members of the community.
The classes introduce people to the risk factors and signs of a range of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts and behavior.
Participants will learn about support and treatment resources for those with mental health issues.
After completing the course and passing an exam, participants will be certified for three years as Mental Health First Aiders.
The classes are scheduled at:
• Jackson County Fire District 5, Station 1 Training Room, 5811 S. Pacific Highway, Talent, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 31.
• Ashland Community Hospital, 280 Maple St., Ashland, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 1.
• Providence Medford Medical Center in Mary Norbert Hall, 1111 Crater Lake Ave., Medford, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 2.
• Jacksonville Library, 340 W. C St., Jacksonville, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 15.
• Applegate Library, 18485 N. Applegate Road, Applegate, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 22.
• La Clinica Phoenix Health Center, 3617 S. Pacific Highway, Phoenix, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 29.
• Providence Medford Medical Center in Mary Norbert Hall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 30.
To reserve a seat and materials, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or email@example.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.