Stories of Success

Beth

Mental Health First Aid Is Making an Impact in Rural Areas

Beth attended a Mental Health First Aid training in her community and is now empowered with the skills and knowledge to refer individuals in distress to the appropriate resources in effort to avoid a crisis situation.

"After training, I feel better equipped to help clients at work who may be experiencing a crisis or behavioral health problems," Beth

For the past ten years, Beth has worked in customer relations at a local bank in Jacksonville, Illinois. Since she started, her clients have become much more diverse, as have the problems her clients share.

"Many times, they come in, sit down and tell me all of their problems. I sometimes felt like a therapist who listens but doesn’t know how to help," said Beth. "I would hear so many tragic stories about divorce, death of spouse or child and other traumatic events. I didn’t really know where to direct people for help."

She added, "The aftermath of these tragic stories left a mark on me.” 

Beth heard about Mental Health First Aid training through Facebook. Just as CPR helps people without clinical expertise save an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis.

Mental Health First Aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of offering support. Beth knew this would help her play an active role in providing the help needed and registered for an upcoming training.

“After training, I feel better equipped to help clients at work who may be experiencing a crisis or behavioral health problems," Beth commented. "I’m also able to use the information to help others outside of work in the community. I’m involved at church and in a few community organizations, and I finally feel like I know how to help them without making people feel uncomfortable."

Mental Health First Aid training is an eight-hour intensive course that gives people the skills and knowledge to refer individuals in distress to the appropriate resources in an effort to avoid a crisis situation. Mental Health First Aid is funded by Memorial Health System in response to the 2015 community health needs assessment completed by Memorial’s four hospitals in Lincoln, Jacksonville, Springfield and Taylorville. Mental health was identified as a major priority Memorial Health System.

If you know of someone that could benefit from Mental Health First Aid or would like to host training for you or your staff, please visit the Mental Health First Aid page. There is a nominal fee to cover the cost of the workbook.

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