Mental Health First Aid Ferrum College Nursing and Piedmont Community Services will offer a Mental Health First Aid course on Saturday, February 24, 2024, 9:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M., on the Lower Level of Vaughn Chapel, 40 Wiley Drive, Ferrum, Virginia. The FREE course is open to all members of the Ferrum family – students, faculty, staff, and community – and includes breakfast and lunch. Pre-registration is required at https://jbphillips.wufoo.com/forms/mental-health-first-aid-at-ferrum-college/ Managed, operated, and disseminated by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Mental Health First Aid teaches participants to identify, understand, and respond to mental health and substance use challenges. Participants learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. The course also teaches recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better and use their strengths to stay well. Topics covered include depression and moods disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders. Course participants will learn how to apply the MHFA action plan in a variety of situations, including when someone is experiencing panic attacks, suicidal thoughts of behavior, non-suicidal self-injury, acute psychosis, overdose or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use, and reaction to a traumatic event. The opportunity to practice — through role plays, scenarios, and activities — makes it easier to apply these skills in a real-life situation. The course will be facilitated by Kristi Norton '92 and Valerie Blevins. Norton is the Coordinator for Mental Health Awareness and Training for Piedmont Community Services and has worked there for 28 years. Blevins has been a Prevention Specialist for Piedmont Community Services for 18 years and is a nurse at the Crisis Intervention Team Crisis Center.