PANAMA CITY – Life Management Center employees Emilee Jones, FACT Peer Specialist, and Tricia Pearce, Community Relations Specialist, recently received certification as Mental Health First Aid instructors.
Jones and Pearce are the only certified Mental Health First Aid instructors between Tallahassee and Pensacola. Certification requires completion of a 40-hour course and successful completion of a final exam and presentation.
With this certification they will be able to offer the 12-hour Mental Health First Aid course in the community. This course teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual, the certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. Thorough evaluations in randomized controlled trials and a quantitative study have proved the CPR-like program effective in improving trainees’ knowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma and increasing the amount of help provided to others.
Mental Health First Aid is auspiced at the ORYGEN Research Centre at the University of Melbourne in Australia under the direction of MHFA founders Betty Kitchener and Tony Jorm. To date, it has been replicated in six other countries worldwide, including Hong Kong, Scotland, England, Canada, Finland, and Singapore.
Life Management Center will begin offering the training this spring. For more information about Mental Health First Aid, please contact Life Management Center at 522-4485, ext. 1107.