Learning to deal with mental health issues

Published 8:39 am Thursday, November 13, 2014

This week’s article is being written and sent from Troy, Michigan. I am attending instructor training for Youth Mental Health First Aid USA. This training will provide me with the skills and knowledge to inform personnel involved with youth on the definition of mental health first aid, many mental disorders, and how to help the youth by knowing what to say.

By attending this training, personnel will not become clinicians that can diagnose mental disorders, but have basic “first aid” training on recognizing issues and keeping the youth safe until contact is made with the professionals. An example that we have used this week is similar to a Red Cross CPR course. Once you have performed the ABC’s of lifesaving, are you qualified to perform heart surgery? Obviously, the answer is no. This is the same for this training.

This training will be an eight-hour instructional class for all who deal with our youth. After going through many definitions and problem solving skills, we do talk of suicide prevention and awareness.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community.” I will be keeping you informed on the progress of this training.

This week’s Do 1 Thing tip continues with Emergency Supplies: Gather your emergency supplies in an accessible place.

Have a go bag ready if you have to shelter in place or evacuate your home. Your go bag can be part of your emergency kit, just make sure it is in a bag or easy to carry container and that it is easy to get to.

Think about these items for your go bag:

• Battery powered radio and extra batteries

• Flashlight with extra batteries

• Lightweight blankets

• Emergency information, including insurance policies

• A list of medications and correct dosage, and doctor’s names

• Personal items such as toothbrushes, soap, extra glasses, etc.

• Whistle

• First aid kit

• Change of clothing

• Non-perishable snacks

• Books, cards or magazines to pass the time

Consider these additional items for infants and children:

• Baby formula and food

• Diapers

• Baby wipes

• Blanket or toy

Consider these additional items for medical conditions:

• Empty pill bottle(s) or a list of current medications

• Your doctor’s phone number

*Make sure you update your go bag when your medications change.

For pets:

• Pet food & water

• Collar with ID tags

• Pet medication(s)

• Pet carriers and leashes

• Medical records from vet

• Photos of your pet

• Microchip information


Please contact me with any questions or comments at TrooperRob53@yahoo.com or 269-683-4411.