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PROMISE Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an 8-hour training course designed to give people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

What do people learn in a Mental Health First Aid course?

Just like CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, MHFA training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives.

MHFA teaches a single 5-step action plan that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other support.

Trainees are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, and they engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families. The course shares evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.

What topics are covered?

MHFA covers depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders.

MHFA trainees will also learn the 5-step action plan to respond to a variety of situations, such as helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, or assisting an individual who has overdosed.

How many participants are needed in order to have the training?

MHFA trainings should have at least 5 participants registered for the course and should not exceed 30 participants.

Does the Mental Health First Aid training have to be completed in one day?

No. If you do not wish to complete a 1-day training, we recommend splitting the 8-hour course into two 4-hour training periods.

Trainings can be arranged to best suit the schedule of the instructors or participants; however, participants MUST complete the full 8 hours of training to receive the certification.

How do I schedule a Mental Health First Aid training course?

Please contact Mary Nelson Robertson by email or by phone at 662-325-4447 for more information or to schedule a course.

 

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Publications

News

Filed Under: The PROMISE Initiative October 7, 2022

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Mississippi State University Extension Service mental health campaign continues to receive national recognition, this time from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A man stands on crutches in silhouette against a background of farm equipment.
Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Prescription Opioid Misuse, Mental Health First Aid, Farm Stress, Rural Health August 16, 2022

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The rollout of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline offers more hope to individuals dealing with mental-health-related distress. That population includes farmers and farm workers, who are among those most at risk for suicide and mental health distress.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male agricultural workers have the fourth highest suicide rate among men in all industries. 

Closeup of gummy vitamins in a child’s hand
Filed Under: Family, Healthy Homes Initiative, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Prescription Opioid Misuse August 3, 2022

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Over-the-counter medications and supplements seem safer than prescription drugs, but a dramatic rise in pediatric melatonin overdoses serves as a warning that these products can be dangerous and must be stored safely.

A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a 530% increase in melatonin overdose in children from 2012 to 2020. Most of these ingestions were unintentional and occurred among children 5 or younger in their homes.

Man on a farm holding a baseball cap.
Filed Under: Farming, Farm Safety, The PROMISE Initiative, Farm Stress, Rural Health June 3, 2022

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- For Nathan Casburn, the land that has been in his family since the early 1900s is now more than simply his workplace.

The Tallahatchie County farm is a place of healing from an opioid addiction that began with pain medication prescribed after he was in a car accident during high school.

Casburn explained in a miniseries titled “On the Farm” that one of the biggest hurdles in his recovery was “saying I can’t do this on my own, and I need help with this.”

Man in a maroon shirt and baseball cap in a greenhouse.
Filed Under: Agriculture, AIM for CHangE, Mental Health First Aid July 22, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Jim McAdory wears many hats. On any given day, the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent fields calls from local cattle farmers, teaches kids about the importance of daily nutrition, and tests soil to diagnose front yard and garden harvest problems -- all before lunch.

Based in Winston County, McAdory recently gained an additional role: Mental Health First Aid instructor.

Success Stories

A man gazes off to the left as the sun sets behind him and two cows look at him from the opposite side of the fence he is leaning on.
Agriculture, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Rural Health
Volume 8 Number 1

Extension destigmatizes mental health issues, one conversation at a time

When Colby Hardin first started working at the Arkansas Department of Corrections dairy farm, he prepared as if going to war.

 

A woman wearing a blue collared jacket stands in the fruit aisle of a grocery store.
Peanuts, Irrigation, Equine, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs, The PROMISE Initiative, Nutrition, EFNEP
Volume 5 Number 2

In this "What's New in Extension," Extension agents implement better safety standards, train to deliver Mental Health First Aid, and receive national recognition. Also, new irrigation and specialists join the Extension family.

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Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. David Buys
Associate Professor
State Health Specialist