MARESA workshop trains adults to help with mental health concerns

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Sam Rush/NW

Ashley Beronja

The Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Services Agency will be offering two separate training sessions focusing on giving adults the opportunity to learn skills needed to help support children and teenagers who may be developing mental health or substance use concerns and be able to connect them with the right care.

Training sessions are six hours long with two hours of pre-work and a four hour live session. The first session will be on Friday, April 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the second will be held on Friday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with training being free of charge.

“This training will cover common signs and symptoms of mental illness in this age group including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder, common signs and symptoms of substance use, how to interact with a child or adolescent in crisis, how to connect the person with help,” the Hub event description said. 

The Mental Health First Aid workshops will expand their content with new information on trauma, addiction, self-care and the impact of social media and bullying. New to this workshop will be expanded content on trauma, addiction, and self-care, and the impact of social media and bullying.

MARESA’s goal is to provide the Marquette academic community with support to help develop a system where educators will be able to help students be successful, productive and responsible citizens. The event will be part of the “MARESA Behavioral Health Project” and is supported by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. 

Rachel Bloth, health education consultant with MARESA, will be one of the mental health first aid for youth trainers. Bloth said that the course will teach participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

“The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis,” Bloth said. “We thought it was valuable to train NMU students that currently work with youth or plan to in their future careers.”

When someone sees a person having a heart attack, for the most part we know to call 911 and if you are able to, start CPR. With mental health concerns such as someone having a panic attack, or someone showing signs of alcoholism, how to help may not come as easy as it would with someone having a heart attack.

“Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by improving understanding and providing an action plan that teaches people to safely and responsibly identify and address a potential mental illness or substance use disorder,” Mental Health First Aid website said.

Registration for the first session can be found on the Hub’s event page as well as the second session. More information about Mental Health First Aid can be found on their website. MARESA plans on hosting more training sessions next year for NMU students and community members.