In response to the identified exposure of the community to natural disasters and the increase in anxiety and behavioral health issues, Congregational Wellness partnered with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses to pastors and church wellness ministry volunteers in January 2020.
MHFA is a skills-based training that teaches people how to identify, understand, and respond to signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance use challenge in adults ages 18 and over. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds mental health literacy, providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental health or substance use challenge.
First Aiders have empathy for people living with mental illness and substance use problems. Their increased mental health literacy enables them to identify risk factors and warning signs for mental health and substance use challenges, confidence to provide strategies to help someone in crisis and non-crisis situations, and knowledge of where to turn for help.
With two certified MHFA instructors, Congregational Wellness has trained 90 people in the life saving techniques of a Mental Health First Aider. Our goal is to offer four classes per year.