Persons going through a mental health crisis may not display obvious signs of distress; and those who encounter them may not know what to do to help, or perhaps inadvertently make the situation worse.

But the 1st Five Health Mental Development Initiative provides a training course for professionals in various fields or citizens who want to know what to look for and what steps to take in a potential crisis situation.

Stacy Haas with the Marion County Public Health Department tells KNIA/KRLS News students are taught to watch for the warning signs of someone in trouble, since they may not want or know how to ask for help, and what appropriate actions to take.

“They would kind of be that first initial point of contact, so they’re going to be given an action step to kind of help them work through when they identify someone in a crisis. It’s going to help them be able to identify what those signs and symptoms are for an individual experiencing that mental health crisis,” Haas says. “And then, give them some tips or tools to put in their ‘tool bag’ to be able to walk someone through the process of getting help.”

The course is provided at no cost through the Cross Mental Health Region and the Marion County Public Health Department.

You can find out more about Mental Health First Aid training on today’s edition of Let’s Talk Knoxville.