Mental health first-aid classes to be taught in several SC counties

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 11, 2021 at 7:23 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Lexington Richland Alcohol Drug Abuse Council has received a grant to provide mental health first-aid classes to the community.

A federal grant will help train instructors, as well as, teach them how to identify, understand, and respond to a mental health crisis.

LRADAC will begin the program by training up to 12 instructors in Lexington, Orangeburg, Calhoun, and Bamberg counties.

Then those instructors will provide education to community leaders on how to identify a mental health crisis and when to intervene.

A professor at the University of South Carolina said the program is much needed especially after a pandemic.

“People don’t know the warning signs of a mental health breakdown and what to do when it’s happening,” Patti Walker said. “Then people who are suffering think they’re weak or there is something wrong with them if they talk about what is happening.”

Some of the warning signs to look out for are depression, loneliness, and thoughts of suicide according to a psychologist. They say the best thing to do if you spot those signs is to inform the person about resources where they can go to get help.

LRADAC is looking for instructors to undergo training. Those teachers will then offer mental health first aid courses like CPR to the community.

The classes will teach 10-30 people over a 5 years span.

The program is set to begin in January. It will be operating out of a community location like a public library or a non-profit office.

For more information contact, Dr. Pam Imm by email at or by phone at 1-803-603-3896.

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