Friday, October 2, 2015

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

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