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Mental Health First Aid Instructors

Flagstaff's new Mental Health First Aid instructors gather for a picture in early May.

In two training sessions early this month, the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation trained a total of 31 new instructors from northern Arizona in Mental Health First Aid, a free eight-hour training program that teaches participants how to best respond in mental health emergencies.

These instructors, from both Flagstaff and Cottonwood, join more than 9,000 instructors throughout the United States. Each of these individuals are certified to teach Mental Health First Aid, which covers topics including developing mental health problems like depression and eating disorders, as well as mental health crises like suicidal behaviors, panic attacks and aggressive behavior.

The Stronger as One Coalition, a group of community leaders in the areas of government, health, education and business, aims to increase the knowledge base and local resources for mental health. Its goal is to train 50,000 people in five years across the five northern Arizona counties.

“We’re enthused to welcome the Northern Arizona Healthcare Foundation as a partner in extending Mental Health First Aid across the country,” Linda Rosenberg, MSW, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, said. “We anticipate the new instructors will have a great impact on the mental health communities throughout northern Arizona, and will be key players in improving mental health literacy.”

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