Mental health issues affect both the young and old, so treatment has to be as varied as the people suffering. To that end, two classes are coming to Lincoln County. The first is a youth mental health first aid course, which will be held at 1005 Main Street, Panaca Town Center, Nov. 18.
This eight-hour class will present a five-step action plan for people who are dealing with a young person who is struggling with depression or any other mental health issues. According to the Lincoln County Coalition site, “You are more likely to encounter someone – friend, family member, student, neighbor or member of the community – in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack,” so the need to know these facts is vital for anyone who works with youth. This includes clergy, youth group leaders, teachers, parents, siblings and anyone else who deals with kids on a daily basis.
According to course instructor LeeAnn Luna of the NyE Communities Coalition, this class teaches people to assess whether or not the youth in question is expressing normal teenage behavior or if the actions are a call for help.
“The purpose of these classes,” Luna says, “is to teach members of the public how to respond to any mental health emergency and provide support to those who need it.”
The other class, safeTALK, deals with how to respond to people who are going through mental health related struggles. The acronym TALK stands for Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep safe.
This class will help people recognize and respond to those who may be having thoughts of suicide, as well as how to connect people with the help they need. This meeting will also help students, “Move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss or avoid suicide; recognize people who have thoughts of suicide and apply the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen and KeepSafe) to connect a person with thoughts of suicide to a suicide first-aid intervention caregiver.”
This four-hour training will be held at Lincoln County High School in Panaca (111 Edwards Street) in the science classroom from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
These classes are only one of the many types of services offered by Luna; she says she’s willing to do large group training with organizations like businesses and school districts (if approved). For more information on these classes and future events, contact Luna at (775) 727-9970 ext 204 or at email@example.com.
One of the biggest things Luna hopes these classes do is dispel the stigma surrounding mental health issues and provide a course of action to inspire confidence in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable situation. The more people talk about mental health, the easier it will be to connect people who need help with those who can offer it.