The training is part of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), an
evidence-based program that offers a five-day intensive training
session that will allow community members to become certified MHFA
trainers. They, in turn, will train people in their communities in
Sangamon, Logan, Morgan and Christian counties.
“We are thrilled to bring Mental Health First Aid to our communities
in central Illinois,” said Jan Gambach, president of Memorial
Behavioral Health and administrator for behavioral health for
Memorial Health System. “Most people know how to recognize and
appropriately react to medical emergencies, but there is little
knowledge in the general public about what to do in a mental health
The five-day training will take place Aug. 1-5 in the Memorial
Center for Learning and Innovation and focuses on adult mental
health. Those who complete that training can participate in
additional training focusing on older children’s mental health; that
training will be offered Sept. 19-21.
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Memorial Health System is providing the funding to bring the
nationally recognized program to central Illinois. Memorial
Behavioral Health will work with local community groups to oversee
implementation of the program in the four-county region.
Mental Health First Aid teaches signs of addictions and mental illnesses, a
five-step action plan to assess a situation and help, the impact of mental and
substance use disorders, and local resources and where to turn for help.
The people being trained include school officials, hospital personnel and social
[Michael Leathers, MHS Public