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Mental Health First Aid class offered at River Falls Area Hospital

River Falls Area Hospital, together with United Way St. Croix Valley, is offering a Mental Health First Aid class designed to help students identify, understand, and respond to signs of addiction and mental illnesses. The day-long class will be held Nov. 13, on the River Falls Area Hospital campus.

"Mental Health First Aid is an internationally recognized, evidence-based program that was created and is managed by the National Council for Behavioral Health," said Kathy Hogberg, River Falls Area Hospital social work and co-instructor of the class. "You learn by engaging in the materials and relating what you learn to real-life situations. Role-playing, group discussions, and exercises keep you engaged and allow you to practice helping skills."

The course will be taught by certified instructors, Kathy Hogberg and Lori Zierl, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23, in the River Falls Area Hospital Campus classrooms B and C.

This course is for anyone who wants to learn how to provide initial help to someone who may be experiencing symptoms of mental illness or in crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid training, you will 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

• Where to turn for help

• Non-judgmental communication and listening skills

• A 5-step action plan to help someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis

Registration fees for the class are $10, after a donation from the United Way St. Croix Valley reduced the rate to attend from $170.

To register to become trained in Mental Health First Aid visit