Mental health First Aid is an eight-hour, five-step action plan that uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer help during a mental health crisis. The program also teaches risk factors and warning signs of illnesses like anxiety, depression, substance abuse and many more. Much like CPR, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person in crisis and connect the person with help.

The classes are taught by the nonprofit organization Valley Cities Behavioral Health. Sue Wyder, Mental Health First Aid Program Manager for Valley Cities, and the King County Mental Health First Aid Coordinator, shared more about the classes.

The training is free. Lunch will also be provided. Each participant that passes will receive a Mental Health First Aider three-year certification.

Here's a list of upcoming classes:

September 6 - Shoreline City Hall

September 22 - St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Enumclaw

October 6 - Seattle Police Department, West Precinct

October 13 - Eastside (locations TBD)

October 20 - Seattle Police Department, West Precinct

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