Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education offers educators mental health first aid training
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Teachers and staff can participate in mental health first aid training to help recognize when someone may be struggling with anxiety or depression. The training also teaches educators how to find help when someone is struggling.
Teachers and staff across the state of Missouri can participate in a mental health first aid course. Just like CPR and first aid training, mental health first aid helps teachers recognize and respond to a mental health issue.
Teachers can take the course online or in person. It takes about a day to complete but once finished, educators know more about recognizing if a student may be struggling and how to help them. Another key component of the program is learning how to have difficult conversations on topics such as substance abuse and suicide and normalizing asking for help. Springfield Public Schools has offered this training to ensure students get the help they need during a crisis.
“It also walks them through the steps of how to go through the process of how to listen non judgmentally how to provide that support and encouragement to that student that they’re not alone, that they have somebody that’s beside them, that’s fighting for them,” said Truman Elementary School Councilor Lola McClarnon. “And that’s going to help them take the next step.”
Teachers learn about anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse and how to help these students through a crisis. Some signs that teachers watch out for are withdrawal from activities that the student had previously enjoyed, major changes in appearance, and changes in behavior.
“Is it valuable it is valuable information to recognize not only typical development but also those kinds of red flags are those symptoms that might show up that could help a student in the midst of a crisis, or even as a crisis might be beginning or kind of see those symptoms before to do prevention,” said McClarnon.
SPS also trains teens in mental health first aid so they can recognize when their peers may need help and can refer them to the resources they may need. If you are an educator and are interested in completing a mental health first aid training course, you can talk to your administrator or CLICK HERE.
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