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KLASAC and county Health Department offer mental health training


September 6, 2017

On Friday, Sept. 29, the Klickitat County Health Department and Klickitat and Lyle Against Substance Abuse Coalition (KLASAC) will be offering Mental Health First Aid training in Klickitat County. This groundbreaking eight-hour training course gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and to connect them with 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 them until it is too late.

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 5-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

“Through this program, we hope to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems,” says Linda Rosenberg President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. in 2008. “When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need.”

In just ten years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States—more than 550,000 people are certified Mental Health First Aiders, and that number is growing every day.

According to Rita Pinchot, Coordinator for KLASAC, over the past two years more than 100 people locally have received training in Youth Mental Health First Aid. KLASAC is excited to expand on this effort to increase awareness and support around Adult Mental Health.

For more information or to participate in a Mental Health First Aid training in Klickitat County, contact Rita Pinchot at (360) 952-3569 or Registration for the September 29th training is open to the public.

To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit

The National Council for Behavioral Health was instrumental in bringing Mental Health First Aid to the USA and more than 550,000 individuals have been trained.


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