Flagler graduates first Mental Health First Aid class

SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES

Flagler County graduated its first Mental Health First Aid class that included participants from the Clerk of the Circuit Court, CareerSource and Flagler County staff among others.

The eight-hour course was led by Salvatore Gintoli of Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare.

“This was a wonderful class that provided the attendees with the tools to identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders,” said Flagler County Commission Chair Nate McLaughlin, who was one of the participants.

Salvatore Gintoli of Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare taught the eight-hour course over two days, which is said to be similar to a CPR course in that it prepares the participants to interact with a person in crisis.

Fall class possible
McLaughlin had facilitated the discussion for the class at the Flagler County Public Safety Coordinating Council meeting about the need to better understand mental health issues in today’s society. The county is looking into hosting another class in the fall.

“The statistic provided is that one in four Americans is experiencing a mental health or addiction disorder,” McLaughlin said. “There needs to be more awareness about how to assess a potential problem, and how to get help for someone who is having an issue.”

For additional information or questions about Mental Health First Aid, send a message to info@mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

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