Firefighters and EMS workers are often the first on the scene to not only witness an accident, injury or shocking event, but also deal with the emotional repercussions – both within themselves and their community. They are on the frontlines of emergency calls and, because one in five Americans has a mental illness, are likely to encounter someone in crisis. Over time, that takes a toll. First responders are more likely than members of the general public to develop behavioral health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty.
WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)is a live training program-like regular First Aid or CPR- that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. This 8-hour certificate training course will teach participants how to recognize the symptoms of mental health problems, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide the individual to professional help, if appropriate. This course is designed to demystify the whole topic of mental illness by increasing mental health literacy and to decrease the stigma that is attached to it. By detecting the problems early, you can ensure that the person is properly treated and supported.
MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID FOR FIRST RESPONSDERS
Mental Health First Aid for Fire and EMS focuses on the unique experiences and needs of firefighters and EMS personnel and is a valuable resource that can make a difference in their lives, their families’ lives and the communities in which they live. Firefighters and EMS workers learn about the importance of early intervention and how, as first responders, they can intervene in the field and provide direct assistance to someone who is experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.