Centerstone Provides Interactive Mental Health First Aid USA Certification Course to the Public

Public education program offered as part of ‘Mental Health Month’ this May

Mental Health First Aid logoNashville, Tenn.—
As part of “Mental Health Month” this May, Centerstone, the nation’s largest provider of community-based behavioral healthcare, will be offering a Mental Health First Aid USA course in the Nashville area. The two-day, 12-hour certification course is designed to help individuals in the community understand mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders, recognize warning signs and respond appropriately to crisis situations.

The certification course, taking place over two days on May 12 and 19, will be led by Susan Gillpatrick, a Centerstone Crisis Management Specialist who primarily works in the field with clients in critical incident response situations and in Centerstone’s wellness trainings and presentations.

“One in four adults experiences a mental illness in a given year,” said Gillpatrick. “Professionals such as educators, employers and police, just to name a few, are all routinely trained to recognize things such as heart attacks and other physical emergencies and generally know how to properly respond in those situations. However, there is really no routine training aimed at recognizing and responding to mental illness and disorders. Would you know what to do if someone you know is having a mental health crisis? Would you even know what to look for? These are the types of questions we hope to answer through the course.”

Mental Health First Aid USA is designed to benefit a variety of audiences and key professions, such as primary care professionals, employers and business leaders, faith communities, school personnel and educators, state police and corrections officers, nursing home staff, mental health authorities, state policymakers, volunteers, young people, families and the general public.

“May is ‘Mental Health Month’, so there is really no better time to make ourselves aware of such potentially devastating illnesses, how to recognize them and how to get help for ourselves or our loved ones who may be living with a mental illness,” said Gillpatrick. “Whether it is depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders or anything in between, this course can really open our eyes to the prevalence of these illnesses in society, as well as how treatable they are if identified properly.”

The course is offered in the form of an interactive, two-day event that presents an overview of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S. and introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments.

The two-day course will be held on May 12 and 19, 2011 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Brentwood United Methodist Church in Brentwood, Tenn. For more information on the course, and to register online, please visit Centerstone’s training page at centerstone.org/training.

About Centerstone

Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization, has provided a wide range of mental health and addiction services to people of all ages for more than 50 years. Through more than 60 facilities and 170 partnership locations across Middle Tennessee, Centerstone serves more than 50,000 children, adolescents, adults and seniors each year. Centerstone is accredited by CARF International. For more information about Centerstone, please call 888-291-4357 or visit our website: www.centerstone.org.

About Susan Gillpatrick, MEd, LPC, CTS

Susan Gillpatrick, Centerstone Crisis Management Specialist, primarily works in the field with clients in critical incident response situations, and in Centerstone’s wellness trainings and presentations. She is also responsible for planning and implementing marketing and growth strategies for Centerstone’s Crisis Management Strategies.

Ms. Gillpatrick is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Trauma Specialist, Certified Workplace Conflict Mediator, and Mental Health Service Provider in the state of Tennessee and a National Certified Counselor. She is also a member the American Counseling Association, the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, the Tennessee Mental Health Counseling Association, and the Middle Tennessee Employee Assistance Professionals Association. She is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences, and has had numerous articles published. She received her Master of Education degree in Human Development Counseling from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.