Talking about Mental Health: Mental Health First Aid
Brooklyn Park trained city staff in how to recognize mental illness and how to respond to someone who might be having a mental health crisis.
City staff work with the public everyday
“It’s acknowledging with our staff that mental illness is a big issue,” explains Deputy Chief Mark Bruley, Brooklyn Park Police.
The Brooklyn Park Police Department created mental health first aid classes to train civilian staff. The course teaches city employees how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.
“It touches a lot of people in our community. It’s something we have to be aware of and find ways to help out,” says Bruley. “We have a lot of city staff who interact with resident and some of those residents have mental health issues. Part of this program is to train all civilian staff to identify and properly assess those who have mental health issues in the public.”
Some advocates hope mental health first aid becomes as common as CPR training.
This story is one of several included in a special report called, “The Silent Struggle Talking about Mental Health.”
NAMI Minnesota provides free classes and information for crisis responders, medical and mental health professionals and the general community. If you are concerned about someone or area having thoughts of suicide yourself, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or **CRISIS. Or you can also text “MN” to 741741.