Amy Schreiner is a local chiropractor (and former Rotary Group Study Exchange participant) recently completed a five-day training to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings.
MHFA helps prepare everyday people to respond to mental health issues. The intention is to make MHFA training as familiar and widespread as CPR and First Aid training. MHFA is an evidence-based, peer-reviewed curriculum that follows a very proscriptive path.
Amy Schreiner is a local chiropractor (and former Rotary Group Study Exchange participant) recently completed a five-day training to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings.
MHFA helps prepare everyday people to respond to mental health issues. The intention is to make MHFA training as familiar and widespread as CPR and First Aid training. MHFA is an evidence-based, peer-reviewed curriculum that follows a very proscriptive path.
 
The goal of the 8-hour class is not to train us to be healthcare providers, but to feel knowledgable and comfortable enough to ask questions, intervene and connect with appropriate mental health resources.
 
Amy was joined by Kathy Hogberg, MSW, Allina Health. Kathy stressed that the MHFA class is for everyone. While those with a background in healthcare or social work do find the class useful, it is also appropriate for those with no healthcare background whatsoever. The goal of the class is really to give people enough information about mental health issues that they feel comfortable having conversations on the topic.
 
Kathy also stressed that while it is true there is a shortage of mental health beds in our region, it is also true that if we did a better job with early identification and intervention for mental health issues, the demand for inpatient mental health services would decrease. We know that mental health and physical health are interconnected. If we want to improve the overall wellbeing of our communities, we also need to work together to respond to the mental health issues that are increasingly prevalent.
 
Amy has had two friends commit suicide in the past five years; she is personally very passionate about the need for this program. Amy and Kathy are two of thirty individuals in our region who went through the training and will now be offering 8- hour classes throughout Pierce, Polk and St. Croix Counties.
 
Others in River Falls who were trained as facilitators include Brittney Matheson, PA, Vibrant Health and Jennifer Peterson at the River Falls School District. These four trainers are offering the 8-hour MHFA class here in River Falls on Sat, 6/9; Wed, 6/27 and Tues, 7/17. Learn more and sign up at www.unitedwaystcroix.org/mental-health-first-aid.
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