The following is information from a press release.

If someone broke their leg skiing, would you know what to do? What if they were choking at the next table in a restaurant where you were eating?

Chances are you’d know a thing or two about splints and the Heimlich maneuver.

But what if someone you knew seemed constantly down, or hinted at suicide, or was obviously self-medicating?

It would be fair to say that most of us know more about medical first aid than about mental health first aid, yet a few simple tools can help in providing assistance.

Teachers, parents, teens, front-desk personnel, and anyone who interacts with the general public are encouraged to take Mental Health First Aid training. “MHFA” is being offered at the Wilton Congregational Church on May 31 and June 7. Information and registration are available at

Developed in Australia, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training program that teaches community members to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Similar to CPR/First Aid training, MHFA is an interactive course leading to three-year certification. Participants learn a five-step action plan that allows them to assess the risk of suicide or harm, listen and give reassurance, provide information, and encourage the person in crisis to seek appropriate help.

The course takes place over two days. The $100 cost covers the training, manuals, certification, and lunch. For more information, please contact Southwest Regional Mental Health Board (SWRMHB) at 203.840.1187 or  SWRMHB is a citizens’ planning and advocacy council that partners with local communities to improve mental health and addiction services in Southwestern Connecticut. MFHA training is offered with support from the Wilton Congregational Church and Cardiac Companion, LLC. Registration preferred by May 17. Please sign up at