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Free course trains how to assist others in mental health crisis

An upcoming course offered through OSF HealthCare will teach participants how to assist people having a mental health crisis.

The Mental Health First Aid course will meet from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, at the Livingston County Farm Bureau, 901 W. Howard St., Pontiac.

It is more common to encounter someone experiencing an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack, according to a news release from OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac. The Mental Health First Aid course teaches a five-step action plan to offer initial help to people with signs and symptoms of a mental illness or crisis, then connect them with the appropriate care.

The course is free and public. Course materials and lunch will be provided. Seating is limited, so registration is required by Monday, Sept. 16, at or 815-842-4986.

The course is a collaborative effort between OSF St. James, the Livingston County Mental Health Board, the East Central Illinois Area Health Education Center and USA Mental Health First Aid.

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