Mental Health Awareness

The holiday season has already begun. For many it's a time of celebration and joy, but for others it can be quite stressful and depressing. The fourth goal of the Health Coalition of Wichita County is to enhance the identification and treatment of people with behavioral and mental issues in Texoma. Even though residents won't see an impact this year, they're sure to see one in the years to come.

Executive Director of Helen Farabee Center Roddy Atkins said "This is not a two month process, not a six month process and not a year long process. What I want to is set up, where we have continual "Mental Health First Aid" training in this community for years."

"Mental Health First Aid" classes are like regular first aid classes except it revolves around mental health.

Atkins said the classes teach people about mental health, how to talk to people who are struggling with a mental health issue and how to direct them to help.

The lack of man power is the biggest reason why the classes aren't here now. The coalition only has 3 certified instructors.

It also cost a few thousand dollars to get people certified to teach the class. Even though it does cost quite a bit of money to get instructors, Atkins wants to keep the cost of the classes at a minimum.

Atkins said "We're trying to keep it zero cost or low cost for anyone who participates."

When the classes open to the public anyone can attend. They are not just for behavioral and mental health experts.

Atkins said it's geared for law enforcement, primary care physicians, social workers, hospital workers, other health and service divisions, teachers and family members.

Once you complete the 8 hour course, you become "Mental Health First Aid" certified.