LifeStyles, library team up for mental health event
Eight-hour course designed to educate public, professionals on mental health signs
In an effort to provide education and awareness about mental illness, LifeStyles of Maryland Foundation, Inc. and Waldorf West Library will host a class next week aimed at teaching participants about symptoms and solutions for those affected by a mental illness.
The Mental Health First Aid Course will be offered 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 at the library, 10405 O’Donnell Place, Waldorf, and will be a continuation of a previous community conversation on the topic the library hosted a few months ago.
“We had a quarterly community conversation about mental health and there were so many questions and people were really interested and passionate about learning more about what they can do for individuals in their lives who are struggling or coping with some type of mental health issue and they wanted to continue the conversation and follow up for our dialogue,” Tisha Tyler, marketing and development manager for Charles County Public Library, said of the course.
The free eight-hour course is designed to teach people the skills needed to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.
“As we’re working with young adults and adults in our community, it’s good for them to know how to properly address situations, not diagnosing, but being aware of how to handle situations,” Corae Young, assistant director for LifeStyles and co-instructor for the course, said.
Young said open dialogue in a nonjudgmental setting are key to addressing the negative stigma that surrounds mental health.
“We will be talking about a few of the mental health disorders, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, suicide. We’ll also talk about what the action plan is. Mental health first aid has its own way to address the situation if you think someone is going through a crisis,” Young said.
“Mental health is one of those issues that we still don’t talk a lot about and one of the reasons our community conversation was so well received is because it was an opportunity for people to have their voice be heard and connect to resources that can help them with a difficult situation in their lives,” Tyler said.
Young said the course is open to anyone in the general community who is 18-years-old and older and anyone who is interested in learning more about mental health services. She said the interactive class takes eight hours to complete and will include role playing exercises and informational videos among other activities.
“[The course] really does help people get a first hand perspective on what a person may experience if they may have a disorder, and for the general community to get a sense of how to help them if they’re going through that,” Young said.
Young said she hopes the course “gives people a better perspective on the mental health crisis in our community, helping people feel comfortable about talking about the need and supporting people who are going through that and giving people additional resources as well.”
Participants will receive a three-year certification after completing the course. Young said she hopes to see more courses offered in the future, including models designed specifically for veterans, college students and public safety personnel.
“I hope people will come away feeling empowered, that they’ve gotten some information that will help them to have a better quality of life, whether that’s working out a mental health issue in their personal life or in their professional life,” Tyler said. “Our role as a public library is to be a safe haven where people can come, find out information, that they can be themselves and be comfortable, all of our programming and services and events we keep that at the fore front, making sure we’re able to provide as many resources for the community as possible.”
To register or for more information on the course, email marketing@ ccplonline.org.
Waldorf West Library and LifeStyles of Maryland Foundation Inc. will host a Mental Health First Aid Course Saturday, Sept. 9, to help the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.
Corae Young, assistant director of LifeStyles of Maryland Foundation Inc., will teach a Mental Health First Aid Course at Waldorf West Library Saturday, Sept. 9, to help the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.