Linden Oaks at Edward’s Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program, specifically its Instructor Consortium of community volunteer trainers, was highlighted at the recent National Council for Behavioral Health Conference ’14, from May 4-7 in Washington, D.C.
MHFA was developed in Australia 13 years ago. It teaches participants from the community to identify individuals who may need help for a mental illness, effectively communicate with them and guide them to appropriate professional help. The goal is to make responding to a mental health crisis as common as utilizing CPR in a cardiac emergency.
Linden Oaks’ MHFA program and Instructor Consortium began in February 2011. Today, the consortium has 51 instructors certified to teach the basic MHFA curriculum. Of that group, 30 are certified as instructors for Youth MHFA, four for Police MHFA and two for Military MHFA.
Barry Groesch, Mental Health First Aid community liaison for Linden Oaks, spoke about the consortium at the 2014 MHFA Instructor Summit during the National Council for Behavioral Health Conference.
“There was great interest from the 130 attendees from across the country looking to possibly create an organization like ours,” Groesch says. “What makes our consortium unique is the diversity of its members. Our trainers represent 32 different vocations, including schools, mental health care providers, county health department employees and many others.”
Almost 4,000 individuals in the Chicago area have taken part in more than 150 MHFA training sessions since the program began in 2011, and classes are scheduled almost every week through the end of 2014. The goal is to reach 5,000 community members with the MHFA message by 2016.
For information on MHFA training dates, locations, group programs and “Train the Trainer” sessions, call Linden Oaks at Edward at 630-305-5500 or visit www.edward.org/mentalhealthfirstaid.
Linden Oaks at Edward is a 108-bed behavioral health hospital on Edward Hospital’s Naperville campus with outpatient offices in Elmhurst, Naperville, Plainfield, St. Charles, Woodridge and Yorkville. Linden Oaks has more than 45 psychiatrists on its medical staff and 500 employees to serve residents of Chicago’s west and southwest suburbs.
For more information about Linden Oaks, visit www.lindenoaks.org. For immediate assistance and a free and confidential assessment, call the Linden Oaks 24/7 Help Line at 630-305-5027.Tags: Edward Hospital, mental health