Erie County will host a youth mental health first aid training on the last day of National Suicide Prevention Week
This week is National Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide can be a difficult topic for anyone to talk about. It’s even harder to know how to ask a loved one if they are considering it. In Erie County, a free training helps individuals feel more confident and comfortable intervening when a loved one is in crisis. Kelly Wofford, the director of Erie County’s Office of Health Equity, says their Mental Health First Aid Training helps prepare individuals for a multitude of mental health situations.
“People learn how to identify what mental health is. They learn about specific general mental health conditions. And then they learn about early warning signs, they learn about like mid-range warning signs, and then crisis situations, and how to respond. In each of those scenarios. There are actual scenarios for people to practice in. We talk about suicide, and people practice asking a loved one or someone that they know," said Wofford.
Evanna Ramos, who works in Erie County’s Office of Health Equity and is a trained social worker, said the training even helped her prepare to have difficult conversations with her daughter.
“A mom of a teenager, all my trainings, all of my professional, formal trainings, as a mom, I took away, right? I have my degrees and I have all of my terminologies that I know, but watching and participating in that allowed for me to have conversations with my daughter, when I went home that day, to say, hey, question, you know, I went to this training today, and where do you stand on some of these issues?” said Ramos.
At the end of National Suicide Prevention Week, on September 16th, Erie County will host a training focused on youth at the Delavan Grider Community Center. To register, click here. For more information on the program,click here.
If you need help, you can call 988 in the U.S. to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or in Canada, call Talk Suicide Canada at 1-833-456-4566.