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Mental health first aid: A response to climbing suicide rate

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Just as CPR helps those without medical training potentially save the life of someone who is having a heart attack, mental health first aid teaches non-professionals how to support a person experiencing an emotional crisis.

Licensed clinical social worker Megan Clifford is offering community training for adults who are interested in learning how to recognize and intervene if someone they know is having a mental health problem or emergency.

"We teach people that language of how to say, 'It's okay, I'm concerned about you, I care about you. Did you know that one in five people will experience depression in their lifetime?'

With the CDC reporting a 30 percent increase nationally in death by suicide, Clifford says it's important now more than ever to educate the community.

"Sometimes the person who is suffering doesn't necessarily identify that the symptoms they are having are able to be treated and they're able to feel better,” she said. “We know that people are much more likely to seek treatment if a loved one or a caring friend offers that to them or gives them the resources."

Clifford’s workshop is July 10 at Asbury First United Methodist Church on East Avenue. It's open to anyone 18 or older.  

She will also bring the course to businesses or organizations that request it.