The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

August 16, 2013

MHP encourages mental health first aid training

OSKALOOSA — Mahaska Health Partnership Behavioral Health Services will be offering Mental Health First Aid Training on Monday, Sept. 30, from 8 am to 5 p.m. on the MHP campus in Oskaloosa.

“There are many types of mental illness people might experience at some point in their lives,” MHP Behavioral Health Director Jan LeBahn, LMSW, said. “Mental Health First Aid training will help all types of people from teachers, to healthcare professionals, clergy members and the general public, learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems and how to help.”

LeBahn said people suffering from mental illness are often lumped into one category of their diagnosis.

“For example, just because a person is suffering from depression doesn’t mean they should be treated as though they need cheering up. It depends what kind of depression they have such as postpartum, grief induced, bipolar disorder, and the list goes on.

“There are many types of depression and although they have some similar symptoms, afflicted people need to be treated very differently. This is also true for people who have anxiety disorders, paranoia or eating disorders. Each of these disorders is very different and the people affected by them may have very different coping mechanisms,” LeBahn stressed.

“Through classes such as Mental Health First Aid, the hope is for the public to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms to be able to intervene. If more people affected by mental illness receive treatment, the lasting effects can be reduced.”

The cost of the class is $35 and six CEU’s will be offered. To register for the next Mental Health First Aid training or for more information, call (641) 672-3159. The deadline to register is Monday, Sept. 16.

Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit http://www.mahaskahealth.org.

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