Several Thrive! staff and volunteers completed the national Mental Health First Aid training offered by Pawnee Mental Health Services. The course covered mental health conditions, first aid for mental health, and first aid for mental health crises such as panic attacks, suicide, substance abuse and traumatic events.
“It’s important that Thrive! Allies are aware of mental health conditions that can hinder Leader progress towards their goals,” explains Elaine Johannes, K-State Extension Specialist and Thrive! Ally Coordinator. “Working together within Thrive! and with community mental health resources, Leaders can feel supported and accepted and achieve their goals."
Per the training manual, a 2013 survey of Americans found that 18.5 percent of adults (over age 18) experienced a mental illness in any given year.
Elaine reinforces this finding, sharing, “any of us can be impacted by mental health conditions personally or in places where we live, learn, work, play and pray. We all need to be aware of the common mental health conditions that impact quality of life across the whole community. Volunteers who understand mental health issues know how to stay calm, listen and refer.”
In non-life-threatening situations,
one of the first places to turn is your primary care specialist.
Speaking openly about stress, sleep issues and general thoughts helps your medical team explore medical and mental conditions and suggest a care plan.
Pawnee Mental Health Services offers the 8-hour, national course throughout the year. “The goal is to help citizens understand mental health issues, gather resources and connect with professional help,” explains Brett Bruning, Pawnee Mental Health Services.
The Thrive! session was funded by a Kansas State University grant,
Bridges for Kansas Families