Jul 29, 2014
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RACSB Offering Mental Health First Aid Training

8-hour training designed to provide members of the public with skills to assist someone developing or experiencing a mental health challenge


The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) is pleased to now provide Mental Health First Aid Training to local organizations and members of the public. Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course designed to provide participants with skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Participants will be better able to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness or addiction.


RACSB Executive Director Ron Branscome shares, “Mental Health First Aid provides participants with training to help facilitate successful encounters with an individual in crisis. Participants will be able to help connect the individual experiencing a mental health challenge with local resources like counseling or support groups.” Branscome continues, “This training can help reduce the misunderstandings around mental illness. It can save lives.”


The course utilizes role-playing and simulations to help participants’ better gain skills to offer initial assistance in a mental health crisis and how to effectively connect individuals to appropriate community resources. Participants will learn the common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses to include: anxiety; depression; substance use; bipolar disorder; and schizophrenia. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and P ractices includes Mental Health First Aid training.


The 8-hour training will be provided over two (2) days. There is a registration fee of $25.00 which includes a workbook and lunch the first day of the training. Trainings are limited to 20 participants and are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Trainings will be held on the following dates (times and locations may vary): May 8 -9; June 9 – 10; July 14 – 15; August 14 – 15; September 22 – 23; October 9 – 10; and November 17 – 18. To register for the training, please contact Michelle Miner, Therapist/CIT Program Manager, at 540-899-4357 or mminer@racsb.state.va.us. Visit www.racsb.state.va.us for additional information and a training flyer.


Mental Health Fir st Aid originated in 2001 in Australia under the direction of founders Betty Kitchener and Tony Jorm. To date, it has been replicated in twenty other countries worldwide, including Hong Kong, Scotland, England, Canada, Finland, and Singapore. Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. To learn more, please visit www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org.



Founded in 1970, the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) provides public mental health, intellectual disability, substance abuse, and prevention/early intervention services to the residents of the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford. RACSB operates five outpatient clinics which provide individual, group and family therapy; specialized counseling and case management services; psychological assessment; 24-hour crisis intervention; and medication management services. RACSB operates 11 group homes for adults with intellectual disability providing 24-hour intensive and structured support as well as the Myers Drive Respite Group Home. RACSB also offers mental health day support, residential services, and crisis stabilization at The Sunshine Lady House for Mental Health Wellness & Recovery. The Parent-Education – Infant Development Program provides developmental, physical, occupational, and speech therapies as well as service coordination to infants and toddlers with developmental delays. Programs of RACSB include Kenmore Club, Rappahannock Adult Activities, Inc., Project LINK, Program for Teen Parents, Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block, DARE To Be You – Rappahannock Area, Second Step, Too Good for Drugs, and Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area. To learn more, visit www.racsb.state.va.us

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