The Missouri Western State University Student Government Association, Dean of Students Office and Counseling Center will be hosting an in-person Mental Health First Aid training course on Friday, Feb. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Blum Union 222/223.

Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training that teaches people how to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance use challenge in adults ages 18 and over.

There are 30 spaces available, and it is on a first-come, first-served basis for students. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided, and participants must attend for the duration of the training in order to be certified.

Katherine Peters, the director of the Counseling Center, had a few words to say.

“This training is being made available to students at no cost, as the Missouri Western State University Student Government Association has graciously paid for 30 students to become certified,” Peters said.

The evidence behind the program demonstrates that participation builds mental health literacy, providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental health or substance use challenge.

“Mental Health First Aid of Missouri provides trained instructors that are coming in from the University of Missouri extension office, so we have two trained facilitators who will be instructing the course,” said Dean of Students Brett Bruner, Ed.D.

This program will increase students' knowledge about mental health and give them the necessary tools to identify or assist people who are dealing with mental health challenges.

“This training is vitally helpful for college students. Mental health challenges have been prevalent for a long time, and the advent and persistence of COVID-19 has not been easy on anyone — especially college students,” said Student Government Association Vice President Connor Peters.

This training is important for students to learn more about how they can help and provide for others. The training is free of cost and offers applied learning experiences that will prepare students for the rest of their lives.

“We are excited to see how this first training goes, and I think we are open to seeing what the future looks like after this class,” said Bruner.

This is great certification training for students, and there are only thirty spots available, so it is important to sign up quickly. If students have any questions about the training, Peters and Bruner will be able to answer them.

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