Mental Health First Aid represents an idea that is simple but powerful: Anyone, anywhere can make a difference in the life of someone with a mental health or substance use challenge – if they know what to do and what to say.
Mike Thompson, CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions introduced this concept at our recent Alliance Learning Circle event on mental and emotional wellbeing in the workplace.
The First Aid Goal
The goal of Mental Health First Aid is to teach people how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in their community.
This can be a real game changer, given the prevalence of mental illness. One in four of us will have some form of mental illness in our lifetime. While effective treatment is available, many people don’t receive it in part due to the stigma that still exists regarding mental illness.
Mental Health First Aid can go a long way toward identifying and encouraging treatment of these common conditions.
Formal training sessions are available in communities across the country. You can search for nearby courses on the Mental Health First Aid website or learn more about becoming a trainer for your community.
DuPont’s Workplace ICU Program
A similar program was developed by DuPont’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The ICU Program is an awareness campaign made especially for the workplace. It is designed to reduce the stigma associated with mental health while encouraging a workplace culture that supports emotional health.
DuPont donated this program to the Center for Workplace Mental Health, who now makes it available to employers across all sectors, industries and sizes, at no cost!
Imagine the Difference
The trend toward training us in how to identify and support each other through mental health conditions is just the beginning. Imagine how different things could be if training in Mental Health First Aid were as common as community-based training in CPR!
Learn More About Benefit Plans and Mental Health
- Learn from our other speakers at this event in “Four Steps to Creating a Better Mental Health Benefit Plan.”
- Read the blogs: “On My Mind: Mental Health First Aid“, “Leadership and Mental Health in the Workplace: A CEO’s Perspective” and “ACA Reporting and Mental Health Parity Rules Offer Challenges for Employers“
Cheryl participates in a number of national and regional initiatives that align with The Alliance’s mission of controlling costs, improving quality and engaging individuals in their health. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the board of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.
Prior to joining The Alliance, Cheryl was a program manager at Meriter Hospital in Madison. She earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.