Ida Rupp Library to offer Mental Health First Aid training

Ida Rupp Public Library has received a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), awarded by the State Library of Ohio, to offer Mental Health First Aid training to library staff and the community.

This is a training that teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges, as well as techniques to assess crisis, provide initial support and have the resources to connect a person with professional help.

Statistics show that one of every five Americans has a mental illness. With that high level of incidence, library staff, patrons and community members are likely to know someone or will encounter someone with symptoms of mental illness or substance abuse.

Research supports that the sooner an individual is in treatment for such conditions the better the outcomes. Sadly, studies also show the average person delays treatment for up to 10 years. This is large in part due to lack of knowledge about their symptoms, a lack of knowledge of available resources, and most notably the negative stigma that remains about mental illness and substance abuse.

Those individuals untreated often engage in negative behaviors, including substance use to “self- medication,” which leads to decreased work productivity, strained relationships, and financial difficulties. The burden of mental illness impacts the community greatly, therefore, we as a community have a responsibility to act to increase mental health literacy and decrease the stigma.

Mental Health First Aid does just that by preparing individuals to identify warning signs of mental illness, how to respond and how to initiate appropriate help. Ida Rupp Public Library officials want to continue to be a trusted resource in the community and demonstrate their commitment to the overall wellbeing of the community by providing this essential life skills training.

There is no cost for the training. It is sponsored by Ida Rupp Public Library through State Library of Ohio LSTA funds. Registration is required to attend. To register, e-mail lfaust@seolibraries.org or call Ida Rupp Public Library at 419-732-3212.

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