Two more mental health first aid seminars are being organized for July and August.

All seats were filled within days of Virginia Beach announcing a free mental health first aid training seminar. Due to the surge in interest, two more training events have been set for July 25 and Aug. 24, according to the Virginian-Pilot. The time and location of these seminars have not yet been determined.

The initial class, Mental Health First Aid USA, is being held Wednesday, July 18, and is sponsored by the City of Virginia Beach Behavioral Health and Wellness Prevention Services. It is an eight-hour, public education program that trains attendees on how to recognize and respond to warning signs of mental health crises.

According to the initial announcement, the course does not teach how to diagnose or provide therapy, but instead it teaches a five-step action plan, known as ALGEE:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

To sign up for training or for more information on the courses, call 757-385-0803.

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