Free mental health ‘first aid’ session arrives at Englewood on Friday


ENGLEWOOD – A one-day training session aimed at breaking down mental health stigma is heading to Englewood this week.

Mental Health First Aid, a course certified by the National Council for Mental Wellness, is offered Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, 815 W. 63rd St.

Neighbors can expect in-depth, interactive training that teaches participants to develop a useful course of action when supporting someone experiencing an emotional or mental health crisis, or substance use problem. You can register here.

“We think people are weak if they have mental health issues, but that’s just not the case,” said James Burns, acting executive director of the Kennedy Forum Illinois, which sponsors the event.

“We have to look at it in the same way as physical health. It is not a moral failure, and it does not mean that you are weak or that you have done anything wrong. Mental health impacts everyone everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you are a black kid from the South Side or a white kid from Lincoln Park. “

A representative from the Sertoma Center, a community provider of mental health and counseling services in the southern suburbs, will lead the eight-hour session.

“It’s not about turning the person who completes the mental health first aid training course into a clinician or a doctor,” Burns said. “The idea is that we can transform [an attendee] in a lifeline. In some ways, they are like a first responder. They see something happening and they can be there, help that person, and then get the professional help they need.

Social distancing and COVID-19 protocols will be in place.

For more information, neighbors can go here.

Credit: Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation

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