Mental Health First Aid

Bryan Gibb on how to handle a mental health crisis.
4:19 | 10/18/11

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Transcript for Mental Health First Aid
In a typical first aid class we learn things like CPR what to do. -- -- -- was choking things like that but would you know what to do if someone was threatening suicide. There are now mental health first aid classes to help educate people on what to do in those kinds of situations. In Brian -- from the national council for community behavioral health care is here now. To talk about some of these classes Brian thanks for being with us don't think you from the -- so first up some statistics and it's -- high likelihood that we might run into someone. With a mental illness through. One in four Americans in any given year will experience a mental ailments what and what at mental illness classified as -- they could be depression and it could be anxiety. Could be psychosis or even the substance use disorder. -- is -- -- really does run the gamut on things an expedited -- have been just occurring. Or something that -- been a lifelong problem correct and went over that statistic is based on people who present symptoms. Serious enough to qualify for an attack us and you -- schizophrenia were also seen their eating disorders so it really -- -- it also stands ages as well. It does actually -- mean mental illness it's all ages from children to the elderly. No discrimination. So this class now and again it was we're talking about you know we understand we can we can learn how to perform CPR the Heimlich maneuver about how do we go about. Recognizing problems signs. Our program we have something called an action plan and in algae AL GE in -- like that ABC and CPR. And it helps us remember. What to do and algae stands for assessed for risk of suicide or harm. Listen non judgment -- -- give reassurance and information. Encourage appropriate professional help. And encourage self help and other support strategies that can help you remember how to react to someone who may be in crisis and what are the kind of people are you finding that our interest in this kind of class is there a particular group that has an interest. We -- like for Stater for CPR mental for status for anyone who comes in contact with the general public. Groups that have been very interested in that law enforcement. Higher education faith based groups and governments. -- you name it anyone who comes in contact with the general public might be able to hell is it just groups are -- individuals as well that are attending classes individuals groups we teach classes around the country -- You know community centers or -- police academy is. Universities. Anywhere where people can access education so the first thing that you're talking about with people and -- classes as what the awareness. The awareness certainly that mental illness is real. It's common. But it's also treatable and people can recover from until moments just like a physical is still a strong stigma associated with mental illness definitely there is lots of people are afraid of seeking treatment. Because -- -- labeled. Or they don't understand what's happening to them don't understand why they're feeling the -- their feelings in these classes are offered a countrywide. They are and 43 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Well and end this all started we're talking a little earlier from -- program and Australia it did it came from Australia started in 2001. And it's in fifteen countries around the world actually why has it taken so long for it to come here the United States. Well I just think that programs spread throughout from Australia and you know our CEO Linda Rosenberg -- saw it -- and thought was a great idea and wanted to incorporated into our public education efforts and obviously there's a strong emphasis on early intervention definitely. Normally I mean there's a lot of a research and evidence that shows that the sooner that you can intervene and get someone help. The more likely they -- to have a positive outcome. What was so is the interest being -- from some of these classes because the fact that they just don't want minister turned over immediately to the medical profession or because people -- -- work you through these problems themselves well again we don't teach people how to diagnose or treat mental -- read any more than a first -- course would teach you how to diagnose or treat physical -- -- Com it's just the idea is that -- out in the community. It's a first line of response it's up a triage if you will but the goal is if a person needs it to get someone professional potentially.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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