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PROMISE Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mental Health First Aid?

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an 8-hour training course designed to give people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

What do people learn in a Mental Health First Aid course?

Just like CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, MHFA training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives.

MHFA teaches a single 5-step action plan that includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other support.

Trainees are also introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, and they engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families. The course shares evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.

What topics are covered?

MHFA covers depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders.

MHFA trainees will also learn the 5-step action plan to respond to a variety of situations, such as helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, or assisting an individual who has overdosed.

How many participants are needed in order to have the training?

MHFA trainings should have at least 5 participants registered for the course and should not exceed 30 participants.

Does the Mental Health First Aid training have to be completed in one day?

No. If you do not wish to complete a 1-day training, we recommend splitting the 8-hour course into two 4-hour training periods.

Trainings can be arranged to best suit the schedule of the instructors or participants; however, participants MUST complete the full 8 hours of training to receive the certification.

How do I schedule a Mental Health First Aid training course?

Please contact Mary Nelson Robertson by email or by phone at 662-325-4447 for more information or to schedule a course.

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Publications

News

Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, The PROMISE Initiative, Farm Stress October 23, 2020

The Mississippi State University Extension Service PROMISE Initiative will launch a webinar series Nov. 17 about farm stress, mental health and social structural issues affecting farmers and ranchers.

Filed Under: The PROMISE Initiative, Rural Health September 29, 2020

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Protecting providers of the world’s food includes looking out for their mental well-being.

To address this, the Mississippi State University Extension Service has certified over 20 personnel to facilitate a skills-based, online training program: Adult Mental Health First Aid. This curriculum teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health disorders and crises in their communities.

Filed Under: Health and Wellness, The PROMISE Initiative August 20, 2020

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippians now have an online tool for opioid misuse prevention resources and strategies. 

Mississippi State University’s Extension Service and Social Science Research Center developed the webpage in collaboration with the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Fahrenheit Creative Group. This new page is a component of an MSU Extension drug prevention initiative called PReventing Opioid Misuse In the SouthEast, or the PROMISE Initiative.

Filed Under: Health and Wellness, The PROMISE Initiative June 5, 2020

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A health leadership team led by the Mississippi State University Extension Service has received a national award for its work to address mental health challenges in the state’s agricultural community.

Directors of the PROMISE Initiative will receive the Southern Distinguished Team award from Epsilon Sigma Phi, during the organization’s annual national conference in October. PROMISE stands for “PReventing Opioid Misuse in the SouthEast.” Epsilon Sigma Phi is a nationwide organization for Extension professionals.

Silhouette of a paper cut-out style family of four facing a three-dimensional model of the novel coronavirus.
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Coronavirus, Mental Health First Aid April 17, 2020

When confronted with the need to change or adapt to life’s circumstances, people cope with the resulting stress in many ways. David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the domino effect of multiple changes caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic may result in trauma.

“Usually trauma is a major life event that leads to intense stress reactions,” Buys said. “But we are seeing so many changes in such a short time it’s a struggle to manage our feelings and thoughts without falling into anxiety and depression.”

Success Stories

A woman wearing a blue collared jacket stands in the fruit aisle of a grocery store.
Peanuts, Irrigation, Equine, Equine Assisted Therapy Programs, The PROMISE Initiative, Nutrition, EFNEP
Volume 5 Number 2

In this "What's New in Extension," Extension agents implement better safety standards, train to deliver Mental Health First Aid, and receive national recognition. Also, new irrigation and specialists join the Extension family.

Listen

Friday, January 24, 2020 - 5:45am
Friday, January 17, 2020 - 5:45am
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 7:00am

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Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. David Buys
Associate Professor
State Health Specialist
Portrait of Dr. Mary Nelson Robertson
Extension Associate III