What would you do if you encountered someone having a mental health crisis? Since you may be more likely to come upon someone experiencing an emotional crisis than someone having a heart attack, it’s a good idea to know how to handle the situation calmly and efficiently.
Learn exactly what to do in such an emergency through “Blended Mental Health First Aid: CPR for the Brain,” a training program that will be held from 9:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, 1500 Brookdale Road, Naperville.
Through the program, First Aiders will learn the signs and symptoms of mental health distress, risk and safety assessment, and intervention strategies. Participants also will learn how to safely and effectively support a person experiencing mental health distress.
After completing a two-hour, self-paced online class, First Aiders will participate in a six-hour in person instructor-led class. Instructors include Diane McQueen and Trina Lueckhoff, members of the Linden Oaks Hospital Mental Health First Aid Consortium which is sponsoring the course. Linden Oaks Hospital is a partner of Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare.
Emphasizing the importance of such knowledge is a story Deacon Joseph Cuzzone, a staff member at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, tells. He was loading a box in his car at his home when he noticed a neighbor waving her arms, trying to attract his attention. Then Deacon Cuzzone heard the driver of a package delivery truck screaming into his phone, “If she’s home when I get home, I’ll kill her!” And the yelling continued.
Deacon Cuzzone recalled his training from a mental health first aid course he’d attended – that also had been held at St. Thomas – and notified the police. He later found out that the police talked with the angry package delivery driver and he willingly went to the hospital for evaluation. The driver knew something was wrong with his reaction and, thanks to Deacon Cuzzone, he was able to get the help he needed while a dangerous situation was defused.
Referring to the eight-hour session on mental health first aid he’d attended, Deacon Cuzzone commented, “What I learned prepared me to know what to do, to do it quickly, and to seek help for a person in severe emotional distress.
“Caring for each other today includes knowing how to help in these situations that can occur without warning, whether we’re out running errands or in our own home,” he added.
Registration for “Blended Mental Health First Aid: CPR for the Brain” is required by 11:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 20, and is available online at https://043022bmhfa.eventbrite.com.
Cost of the program is $23.95.
Continuing education units also are available for LCPC/LPC, LCSW/LSW, LMRT, and psychologists.
For more information about this mental health first aid program, contact Susan Kearney at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 355-8980, ext. 108.
St. Thomas the Apostle, a parish of the Diocese of Joliet, strives to bear the Good News of God’s unconditional love to all generations through worship, faith formation, witness and service. Organized in 1984, the St. Thomas faith community numbers more than 3,400 households of more than 10,750 people. Complete news and information on parish events, guest speakers and special programs is available at www.stapostle.org. For general parish information, please call (630) 355-8980.