March 1st, 2012

Great River Mental Health is offering a free two-day Mental Health First Aid course from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 29 and Friday, March 30, on the Great River Health Systems campus, 1221 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington. It is open to the public.

Mental Health First Aid is the initial help given to someone showing symptoms of mental illness or a mental-health crisis, such as severe depression, psychosis, panic attack, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. It can be provided until professional or family help becomes available.

People are more likely to encounter someone having an emotional mental crisis than someone having a heart attack. Mental disorders are more common than heart disease and cancer combined. Participants will learn:

  • A comprehensive five-step plan to help someone in crisis receive professional care
  • The emotional and economic costs of mental illnesses
  • The prevalence of mental illnesses in the U.S.
  • Warning signs and risk factors of several mental-health disorders

Mental Health First Aid is a proven method for helping reduce the stigma connected to mental illnesses. It is led by a certified Mental Health First Aid USA instructor.

To register or receive more information, please contact Tana Fourdyce, L.M.S.W., at 319-768-3706 or