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Mental Health First Aid training develops capable wingmen

  • Published
  • By Eric M. White
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Approximately 40 members of the 910th Airlift Wing attended a Mental Health First Aid class, Sept. 29, 2022, at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Ohio. The class was facilitated by Mental Health First Aid of Ohio which obtained a grant to make the training possible.

According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing’s website, “Mental Health First Aid is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues.” The training covers topics like depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis and substance use disorders. Students receive an action plan for responding to a variety of mental health situations and learn several intervention methods.

Karen Hazle-Johnson, the 910th Airlift Wing’s violence prevention integrator, helped arrange the training.

“The Air Force teaches members how to do first aid/Self Aid Buddy Care, why not mental health first aid?” Said Hazle-Johnson. It is important for people to be able to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders.”

This is the first time the training was held at YARS. It was primarily for the installation's full-time staff and leadership. An upcoming class is being planned for February 2023 so that Reservists who do not work at the installation full-time can benefit as well. The second class is also being funded by a grant.