Monday, March 30, 2009

Mental Health First Aid

So today I got trained (i guess i might be certified, of a sort, inasmuchas i got a certificate) in "mental health first aid" which is what to do when you're the first person a mentally ill person contacts (or if you contact them). Very useful for future clergy. Avert disaster, listen compassionately, give information and support, and steer them toward appropriate help. Anxiety, depression and suicide, psychoses, substance abuse, eating disorders, self-injury. All in two day's work!
This blew my mind: only about 3% of the population gets diagnosable eating disorders (do you mean every family doesn't have one of them, or three, or seven??)
Also: schizophrenia was the only disorder mentioned in two days of training that I don't have real experience with (i mean close contact in family or friends).
Hi, my name's Talitha, and I'm mixed up in a lot of peoples' proverbial shit.
A few years back when I complained about how many crazy/addicted/etc folks were coming to confide in me, my wise little sister snapped back at me "God's sending them to you!" and I meekly shut up and kept counseling. Which I suppose I will continue doing, now with more training. But seriously, folks, these are not fun things to be well-educated in. Why couldn't I be an amateur expert in, say, fashion design?

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