As a first line of defense against mental illness, Linden Oaks has created a series of classes designed to teach people the basic methods of reaching out to someone who may have a mental health problem.
One recent class focused on recognizing signs of depression.
“It can be very helpful in working with your own kids or talking to your own kids, ‘how do I start a conversation with this person who may be depressed?’ If their behavior has changed in some way and I’ve noticed that and am concerned about it. So that is what this class is about, how do you start that conversation with that young person and encourage them to talk more about what they are experiencing and how they can make the right choices,” said Denise Elsbree, the Community Liaison for Mental Health and First Aid at Linden Oaks.
Once the 8-hour class is completed, a citizen is mental health first aid certified, and receives a certificate.
With this knowledge, they can help identify and comfort someone in need of intervention, and guide them to a professional.
Each class has a different theme; open sessions can be found at edward.org.
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