POCATELLO — Southeastern Idaho Public Health will be offering a free Mental Health First Aid training July 15 to 18. This groundbreaking course, taught in two-hour sessions over four days, from 3 to 5 p.m. at 1901 Alvin Ricken Road in Pocatello, gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder and to connect them to appropriate support and resources when necessary.

One in five Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. For friends and family members, it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get the help they need in a timely manner.

Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

To sign up for the course, register at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019MHFA or contact Rhonda D’Amico, Suicide Prevention Program coordinator, via email at rdamico@siph.idaho.gov or by calling 208-239-5227.