Monday, December 7, 2015

Health for the Holidays-- the Perfect Gifts!

This year, give your friends and family the gift of health. Jefferson County Public Health professionals have 5 healthy, fun and unique gift ideas.


    A Reusable Water Bottle: Not only will you be giving the gift of adequate hydration, you’ll save the receiver of the gift money and the world from further plastic bottle pollution! Any reusable water bottle is better than a plastic one that will be thrown away but, ideally, glass or stainless steel bottles are the best because they do not contain chemicals (such as BPA) that many plastic water bottles do. As plastic breaks down over time and loses its integrity, harmful chemicals from the plastic can be released into the water held in the bottle and can be unsafe to drink.




    A Jump Rope: A classic, proven, tried and true exercise machine, jump ropes are affordable and easy to use. Jumping rope for just 10 minutes is a huge dose of aerobic exercise. This exercise makes you use your arms, your core stabilizer muscles, all the leg muscles, and it gets your heart rate up in that vigorous exercise range. Staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight is a great way to keep healthy.






    Electronic Toothbrush for Kids: When we make tooth brushing fun, kids tend to stay at it longer and brush more thoroughly. Today’s awesome technology combined with good oralhygiene provides the perfect oral health gift for children- an electric toothbrush. This fun gadget can make regular tooth brushing fun. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 1 of 5, or 20%, of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. Tooth decay (or cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning. Give a child in your life an electronic toothbrush and help minimize visits to the dentist.

      Yoga Lessons for friends, family, neighbors and anyone else on your list: The science of Yoga has been used for centuries to enhance physical and emotional well-being. Yoga classes are a wonderful gift to encourage mind and body alignment and improve flexibility. “It’s also a great way to reduce the stresses of everyday life. Yoga helps make the body more flexible and helps you relax, Yoga has something to offer for everyone,” says Elise Lubell, Director of JCPH’s Health Promotion and Lifestyle Management Division. Check with your local recreation center for affordable, beginner yoga classes.


      A Healthy Cookbook: Whether you are cooking for just yourself, one to two people, or a larger group, planning meals is a good place to start improving your food choices. Taking the time to plan a healthy evening meal can help you avoid a less healthful "drive-through" dinner. There are many great and simple cookbook options available, as healthy eating is a major health focus and prevention strategy today. To make preparing health foods as easy as possible, choose a cook book with simple recipes involving as few ingredients as possible. A great online resource to get started is the CDC’s Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight website.

Thinking About Quitting Tobacco in 2016?

A local success story encourages people who use tobacco to quit in the new year.

New Year’s Day represents the opportunity for a fresh start and Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is encouraging people who use tobacco to consider giving their health a fresh start this new year by kicking the habit.

Last month, JCPH interviewed a former tobacco user willing to share about the personal  journey of quitting as a way to help inspire others to quit in 2016. In order to maintain this person’s anonymity, the initials “J.S.” have been used to identify responses to the questions that were asked. When reading this interview, keep in mind that quitting tobacco is a unique experience for everyone and part of the quitting journey is discovering what strategies work best for each individual. In an effort to provide additional information and encouragement, a quitting specialist from JCPH has added commentary after each question.

JCPH: Please share a little bit about your tobacco use history.

J.S.: Both my grandfather and grandmother smoked, and when I was a kid I would hide their cigarettes as an attempt to get them to quit. I hated the smell of cigarette smoke. As I got older, smoking became the cool thing to do among my peers. I started dabbling with smoking around the age of 12 and would steal cigarettes from my grandmother until I could buy my own. I began smoking more heavily around the age of 16 or 17 and eventually was up to almost two packs a day. I managed to keep my tobacco use a secret from everyone in my family, except from my grandmother and son, for the entire time I smoked, which was almost 20 years.

JCPH Quit Specialist: Per the Surgeon General, nearly 9 out of 10 people who use tobacco start before the age of 18. Studies show that because the teen brain is still developing, youth are more vulnerable to nicotine addiction.

JCPH: When and why did you quit?
 J.S.: I thought about quitting several times but hadn’t made any quit attempts until I was ready. I hated the smell of smoke and the control that smoking had over me, and I had a young son who was encouraging me to quit.  I planned my quit date to be an ex-wedding anniversary, since I wanted that day to mean something different for me. Now it does, and I haven’t smoked a cigarette since, which was about seven years ago.

JCPH Quit Specialist: Putting a plan together and setting a quit date are important first steps towards regaining your freedom from tobacco. People who have a plan for quitting in advance of their quit day can increase the odds of staying tobacco-free for life.

JCPH: What other strategies or tools did you find to be helpful and effective with quitting?
 J.S.: I used an approved cessation medication. I highly recommend using nicotine replacement therapy or a cessation medication to help with getting past the initial symptoms of withdrawal.

JCPH Quit Specialist: Using approved products and medications can increase the chances of quitting tobacco by minimizing cravings and limiting symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Even for those who are not ready to quit, these products can help people who use tobacco to withstand periods when tobacco use is prohibited. They can also reduce health risks by limiting tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.

JCPH: Have you had any setbacks (or do you have any specific triggers)?
 J.S.: Once my physical cravings were gone, I realized that my addiction to cigarettes was very much an emotional thing for me. My grandmother was everything to me. We were allies and would smoke together, which was part of the bond between us. It was difficult to lose an aspect of our relationship, but my son encouraged me to stay smoke-free. He says he will never smoke because I quit for him, and that encouragement kept me going.

JCPH Quit Specialist: Remember that for most people quitting is a process that typically requires more than one attempt and involves more than just getting through withdrawals. Think of it like building a muscle, developing new skills, or even retraining or "re-wiring" your brain when it comes to smoking patterns and dependence on nicotine. Consider every quit attempt a training opportunity and keep going. Make adjustments to address what you learn from each quit attempt, and bring all the encouragement and motivation that you can muster to "get back in the quitting game" if you slip or relapse.

JCPH: What have been the benefits of quitting?

J.S.: I got my sense of smell and taste back, and I like not smelling like smoke. I don’t have burn holes in my clothes anymore, and I’m a safer driver now that I am not distracted by cigarettes. I can breathe better and no longer cough up a thick mucus in the mornings.

JCPH Quit Specialist: It is never too late to quit – within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of healing changes that continue for years.

JCPH: How would you encourage others who are thinking of quitting tobacco?

J.S: I would tell my story and share the benefits I experienced from not smoking without being judgmental or putting them down. I don’t want to judge or shame anyone. I would also recommend experimenting with different resources and support to figure out what works for them. You have to cut yourself some slack during the quitting process, and know that if you do mess up, you just have to try again.

JCPH Quit Specialist: For more inspirational stories from people who have quit tobacco, watch The Journey of Quitting videos. Quitting is hard but, with the right tools, resources and support, you can do it! Consider using some of the following free resources to help with the journey to quit smoking or quit using other tobacco products:
  • For telephone support, coaching and resources to help you or a loved one become tobacco-free; call the Colorado Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). The QuitLine also has a web-based support, www.coquitline.org. This free service provides information and tools to tailor your own personal plan for quitting.
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offers www.TobaccoFreeCO.org, an online web hub that connects visitors to a variety of resources and topics including cessation services and information on preventing secondhand smoke exposure and youth tobacco use.
  • SmokeFreeTXT is a free text-based program that places you on the path to a life free from tobacco.
  • Attend a free tobacco cessation group hosted by Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge on Tuesdays from 12pm-1pm or 5:30pm-6:30pm. This is a six week drop-in group that provides adults who want to quit smoking with tools and support to achieve their goals. You do not need to attend all six weeks in order to participate.
  • You may also visit the Thinking of Quitting page on the Tobacco-Free Jeffco Website for a list of additional resources and videos that will encourage and help you to quit.
·         The JCPH Tobacco Prevention Initiative offers a 2016 New Year’s Resolution infographic to help tobacco users navigate the journey of quitting. This educational handout provides reasons to quit, steps to design a quit plan, a tracking tool and tips on staying tobacco-free.
·         JCPH also offers an online nine day quit guide to help you stay on track.

Jefferson County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Initiative is working to educate about the harms of tobacco in our communities and to promote tobacco-free living. For more information or to get involved, please visit: www.tobaccofreejeffco.com, email tobaccofree@jeffco.us,
or call Donna Viverette at 303-275-7555.

Friday, December 4, 2015

A New and Coordinated Approach to Improving Jefferson County Residents' Health

In an effort to improve the health of Jefferson County residents in a more coordinated and effective manner, Jefferson County Public Health is proud to introduce the creation and implementation of the Jeffco Community Health Improvement Network, or Network. The Network includes over 100 community partners interested in working together to increase physical activity, healthy eating, and psychosocial well-being in Jefferson County. The Network was formed based on goals outlined in Jefferson County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which was first published in January 2014. The CHIP is now being updated to reflect new partnerships and expanded community goals. If you are interested providing input into this plan update, please email Pamela at pgould@jeffco.us.
The Jeffco Community Health Improvement Network is an umbrella organization for six coalitions, or CoINs (Coalitions Integrated in the Network), using the collective impact framework to improve the health of our community.
·         The School Wellness CoIN is meeting monthly. Among other projects, the coalition is working with a variety of community partners, including Jeffco PTA, to catalogue schools that need funding for new or improved water fountains or water bottle refill stations. Students from Warren Tech are creating a video for the project.
·         The School Wellness Coalition is also helping multiple municipalities and organizations applying for Safe Routes to School Funding coordinate and align their applications. This will make their applications stronger, and will also increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the programs offered in schools.
·         The Healthy Beverage CoIN will begin meeting regularly in February, but is already collaborating on the water project and working across the metro area on a variety of initiatives encouraging healthy beverage consumption.
·         The Food Policy Council and Active Living Coalitions both held kick-off meetings in October and are now meeting monthly. The groups are working on mission and vision statements and formalizing the coalitions in preparation for on-going efforts related to health in all policies. Lots of information from these meetings is posted on www.healthypeoplehealthyplacesjeffco.com.
·         The Health in Early Childhood Collaborative has been formally invited to create a sub-committee under the TRIAD Early Childhood Council and will start meeting formally in January. Some members of this group are already supporting a 5210 Jeffco! initiative and members of this group have worked with GoFarm on a successful application to the Colorado Health Foundation to start a farm to preschool program in Jefferson County.
·         A new Preventive Care and Mental Health Resources Coalition is under consideration as an additional CoIN for the Network.

To receive updates on the work occurring within each of the CoINs or to join the Network, please fill out the Membership Sign-up form at www.healthypeoplehealthyplacesjeffco.com.

Happy & Healthy Eating Reminder: Prevent Foodborne Illness this Holiday Season

No matter how large or small your holiday guest list may be this year, it is important to be aware of safety issues when thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking your turkey and other holiday meal additions. A few simple steps can help keep foodborne illness off the menu. 

Safe Preparation: 

·         Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling any food. Kids can sing “Happy Birthday” twice to gauge how long they should wash their hands.

·         Wash food contact surfaces such as cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next item.

·         Kitchen counters and cutting boards can be sanitized using a solution of two teaspoons of unscented chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Spray or wipe on surfaces and allow them to air dry.

·         Rinse fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cool running water and scrub sturdy produce with a clean produce brush.

·         Don’t rinse raw meat or poultry before cooking. Washing these foods can spread bacteria to the sink and countertops.
  
Safe Handling and Thawing:

·         Thawing turkeys must be kept out of the "danger zone" temperature (between 40 and 140°F) — this is the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. See Safe Methods for Thawing, (Spanish version). 

·         Keep raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood and their juices away from foods that won't be cooked. Take this precaution while shopping in the store, when storing these foods in the refrigerator at home and while preparing meals.

·         Consider using one cutting board for foods that will be cooked (raw meat, poultry and seafood) and another for those that will not (raw fruits and vegetables).

·         Keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood. Keep fruits and vegetables separate from kitchen utensils and surfaces used for raw meat until those utensils and surfaces have been thoroughly washed.

·         Do not put cooked meat or other food that is ready to eat on an unwashed plate or surface that has held any raw eggs, meat, poultry, seafood or their juices.
  
Safe Cooking:

·         Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry and fish are cooked to a safe internal temperature. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness. To check a turkey for safety, insert a food thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. The turkey is safe when the temperature reaches 165 F. For more information on safe internal temperatures, visit FoodSafety.gov's Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures

·         If the turkey is stuffed, the temperature of the stuffing should be 165 F. Follow these steps to safely prepare, cook, remove, and refrigerate stuffing; Spanish language instructions.

·         Bring sauces, soups and gravies to a rolling boil when reheating.

·         Cook eggs until the yolk and white are firm. When making your own eggnog or other recipe calling for raw eggs, use pasteurized shell eggs, liquid or frozen pasteurized egg products, or powdered egg whites.
  
Safe Cleaning and Storage:

·         Do not leave foods containing meat, dairy, eggs, fish or poultry out at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers — and any type of food that should be refrigerated — within two hours. This includes casseroles and pumpkin or other custard pies.

·         Never defrost food at room temperature. Food can be defrosted safely in the refrigerator, under cold running water or in the microwave. Food thawed in cold water or in the microwave should be cooked immediately.

·         Plan ahead to allow enough time to thaw the turkey in the refrigerator. You will need a day for every 4-5 pounds.

·         Don't taste food that looks or smells questionable. A good rule to follow is, “When in doubt, throw it out."

·         Leftovers should be used within three to four days.
  
Remember, only handle and prepare food for others only if you are healthy. It is possible to spread illnesses other than just foodborne illnesses through meal preparation.

·         Don’t handle or prepare food for others if you are sick, especially if experiencing vomiting, diarrhea or flu-like symptoms. The bacteria and viruses that cause these types of symptoms can be transmitted easily to food and anyone who eats it.


·         Use special care when preparing food for anyone considered at high risk for foodborne illness (older adults, infants and young children; pregnant women; and people with a chronic illness or any other condition that weakens their immune system).


Other resources:
Download 
JCPH turkey time handout or view the JCPH Food Safety web  page.

Healthy Holiday Season: Wash your Hands & Stay Home if You Are Sick!

Wash, Wash, Wash and Wash again! December 6-12, 2015 is National Handwashing Awareness Week. It’s the time of year for parties, get-togethers and holiday celebrations. It’s also flu season, and a common time for the spread of disease and illness. The Colorado cold keeps our windows and doors closed, creating an atmosphere for germs to collect and hide. Here is a cheat sheet on the 7 Germiest Places and Things to clean before the holidays.

Following basic public health practices during the holidays, such as washing your hands, can effectively stop the spread of germs and many diseases.

When should you wash your hands?
  • Before, during, and after preparing food;
  • Before eating food;
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick;
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound;
  • After using the toilet;
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet;
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste; and, 
  • After touching garbage.
What is the right way to wash your hands?
  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Resources:

Stay Home if You’re Sick (poster); Wash Your Hands (brochure); JCPH Flu shots (web page) Stop the spread of germs (web page). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers an excellent Feature on Handwashing, or visit the CDC Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives page.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Happy & Healthy Eating Reminder: Preventing Foodborne Illness this Holiday Season

No matter how large or small your holiday guest list may be this year, it is important to be aware of safety issues when thawing, preparing, stuffing and cooking your turkey and other holiday meal additions. A few simple steps can help keep foodborne illness off the menu this Thanksgiving. 
  • Safe Thawing:  Thawing turkeys must be kept out of the "danger zone" temperature (between 40 and 140°F) — this is the temperature range where foodborne bacteria multiply rapidly. See Safe Methods for Thawing, (Spanish version). 
  • Safe Preparation:   Bacteria present on raw poultry can contaminate your hands, utensils, and work surfaces as you prepare the turkey. After working with raw poultry, always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces before they touch other foods.
  • Safe Stuffing:  Bacteria can survive in stuffing that has not reached 165°F, possibly resulting in foodborne illness. Follow these steps to safely prepare, cook, remove, and refrigerate stuffing; Spanish language instructions.
  • Safe Cooking:  Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F and be sure the turkey is completely thawed. Cooking times will vary. The food thermometer must reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. For more information on safe internal temperatures, visit FoodSafety.gov's Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
Other resources:
Download
JCPH turkey time handout or view the JCPH Food Safety web  page.


Healthy Habits Prevent Spread of Disease



Our hands are exposed to germs with our every action. Keeping hands clean through proper handwashing practices is one the most effective and important steps taken to control spreading germs and/or getting sick. People often touch their eyes, nose, and mouth-- places where many germs exist—with their hands numerous times each day without even noticing. Germs can also make their way onto our hands after using the toilet, handling raw foods, shaking hands with another person, or touching any object someone has sneezed or coughed on or around, for example.

With the height of flu season just ahead and other viruses and illnesses threatening our health this fall, it’s important to use the most basic sanitary practices to stay well. Simply washing hands with soap and clean, running water can prevent the spread of many diseases, illnesses and conditions and help people and communities stay healthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea and nearly 1 out of every 6 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia.

For more information on the correct handwashing procedures view this brochure.

Quit Tobacco for a Day or Quit for Life During this Year’s Great American Smokeout

In honor of the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is encouraging people who use tobacco to quit for the day or quit for life on November 19, 2015.

Tobacco products and their ingredients are designed to be addictive with nicotine serving as the primary chemical compound that causes dependence. According to the 2012 Surgeon General’s Report, most people initiate tobacco use before the age of 18, and because the teen brain is still developing, youth are more vulnerable to nicotine addiction. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure cause more than 480,000 deaths each year.

Regardless of the age of initiation or the length of time a person has used tobacco, quitting is possible and worth it. According to the CDC, the number of people who have quit smoking successfully exceeds the number of people that currently smoke. Quitting takes practice, and, even though it often takes more than one attempt to quit successfully, chances of success increase with each quit attempt. It is never too late to quit, and the body begins to heal shortly after stopping any form of tobacco.

If you or someone you care about is interested in being tobacco-free for the Great American Smokeout on November 19, 2015, preparing for the day in advance increases the chances of success. JCPH recommends using this nine day quit guide to help with planning a quit date. For additional support with quitting tobacco, consider using some of the following free resources:
·         Call the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit www.coquitline.org.
·         Attend a free tobacco cessation group hosted by Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge on Tuesdays at 12:00 pm or 5:30 pm. This is a six week drop-in group that provides adults who want to quit smoking with tools and support to achieve their goals.  (You do not need to attend all six weeks in order to participate.)
·         Visit the Thinking of Quitting page on the Tobacco-Free Jeffco Website.
·         Visit www.tobaccofreeco.org for additional information about secondhand smoke, Colorado tobacco laws, and resources to help with breaking free from tobacco addiction.


Jefferson County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Initiative is working with students, parents and community members to educate about the harms of tobacco in our communities and to promote tobacco-free living. For more information or to get involved, please visit: www.tobaccofreejeffco.com, email us at tobaccofree@jeffco.us or call Donna Viverette at 303-275-7555.

Friday, October 2, 2015

HUNGRY FOR A CHANGE SUMMIT 2015

The Hungry For A Change Summit 2015, hosted by Hunger Free Colorado, was attended by two of theJCPH Nutrition Services/WIC staff on September 29, 2015. Hunger Free Colorado leads efforts to connect families and individuals to food resources and to fuel changes in systems, policies and social views, so no Coloradan goes hungry. Hunger Free Colorado is the state’s leading anti-hunger organization leveraging the power of collaboration, system change, policy change and social change to end hunger in Colorado. Below are a few highlights from the summit.

  • The Hunger Free Colorado Partnership with Kaiser Permanente connects patients to food and nutrition resources. At child wellness visits, patients are screened for food insecurity by asking: “When was the last time you worried whether your food would run out before you had money to buy more?”  Patients with positive screens are referred electronically to a community specialist, who assess for other social needs and also (with client permission) fax a referral to Hunger Free Colorado who will reach out to each referred member and connect them to nutritional assistance programs or other nutritional resources. 
  • “We Need to Think of Food Stamps as Medicine.” By reducing food insecurity, food stamps can  decrease a child’s risk of:
    • Hospitalization
    • Poor health
    • Iron deficiency anemia
    • Deficits in cognitive development
    • Behavioral and emotional problems
  • 1 in 7 Coloradans struggle with hunger, facing times when there is not enough money to buy food
  • 1 in 5 kids are hungry and those under the age of 6 are most likely to be in poverty 
  • More than 1 in 7 Colorado Seniors are unsure of when or where they will get their next meal.
Other topics at the Hungry for A Change Summit included:
  • Take Action To Address Childhood Hunger
  • Yes, We Can Impact Federal Policy
  • Creation of the Colorado Food Pantry Network
  • Helping Our Future by Helping Our Kids - Creative ways to expand access to summer and after-school meals that help benefit children’s cognitive abilities, physical development, school readiness and future eating habits. 
  • Around the State in 50 Minutes - An interactive session to share and learn what others around the state are doing to alleviate and solve hunger. 
For more information about Hunger Free Colorado and to learn how you can help
go to www.hungerfreecolorado.org.  For an overview on the summit, including powerpoint presentation, story compilations and social media posts, visit the website.

HUNGER FREE HOTLINE:

855-855-4626 TOLL-FREE, STATEWIDE, MULTILINGUAL

Raising Awareness Around Mental Health and Illness

Jefferson County Public Health promotes living healthy, active lives, and this includes having a happy, healthy mindset. Health begins within each individual and their ability to cope with everyday stresses and life in general, and their ability to make healthy choices for themselves. Many people around the world, within the United States, and even right here in Colorado, suffer daily with mental illness. Did you know that Colorado lost 1,058 people to suicide last year? This is the highest number in state history. That puts Colorado’s suicide rate at 19.4 per 100,000 residents — seventh highest in the country.

Suicide kills more Coloradans each year than homicide, car crashes, diabetes, breast cancer, flu or pneumonia. It is the seventh leading cause of death for all Coloradans and second leading cause of death for young Coloradans.

Each year, The National Alliance on Mental Illness celebrates Mental Illness Awareness Week during the first full week of October, which is the 4–10 of this year. The week’s 2015 theme revolves around building a movement through the new Stigma Free initiative. Being Stigma Free means learning about and educating others on mental illness, focusing on connecting with people to see each other as individuals and not a diagnosis, and most importantly, taking action on mental health issues.

In support of Mental Illness Awareness Week and mental health awareness in general, Jefferson County Public Health will be hosting its second Mental Health First Aid class open to the public! If you have not yet taken the course this will be a great opportunity to sign up and be a part of a larger discussion centered around how to increase mental wellness within our community.

The goal of the course is to support County community members by having improved mental health literacy! By completing this course you will have a basic understanding of what different mental illnesses and addictions are, how this impacts a person’s daily life, and what helps a person experiencing these challenges move toward wellness.

Mental Health First Aid Curriculum Highlights:
  • Dispel myths about mental illness.
  • Educate participants about prevalence of mental illness.
  • An educational and interactive training.
  • Address the following mental health problems:
    • Depression, self-harm, Bipolar disorder, Anxiety disorders, panic attacks, psychosis and psychotic disorders (including schizophrenia), substance use disorders. 
  • Give participants an action plan to address these mental health problems:
A: Assess for risk of suicide or harm

L: Listen non-judgmentally

G: Give reassurance and information

E: Encourage appropriate professional help

E: Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants to recognize symptoms of mental health problems, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person to appropriate treatments and other supportive help. Mental Health First Aid does not teach people to be therapists.

Class Date: October 15th 1:00pm to 5:00pm and October 22nd 1:00PM to 5:00pm

Class Location: Jefferson County Courts and Administration, 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Golden, CO 80401

Class will be held in rooms 1566/67 Westminster/Edgewater. They are on the 1st floor and you will not need to pass through security.

To register for either of the upcoming courses, click here