Discovering the right techniques to manage stress and prioritize mental health is crucial for maintaining your well-being. Whether it's the demands of school, family, work, finances, or relationships, College of Western Idaho (CWI) understands the overwhelming pressures life can throw your way. Our CWI Mental Health First Aid trainers are offering monthly Mental Health First Aid Brown Bag discussions to all campus community members to help broaden their knowledge on mental health topics.
The first discussion, led by Associate Professor of Psychology, Jana McCurdy, and Professor of Art and Department Chair of Visual and Performing Arts, Brenda Fisher, is about how to use validation to support student development. Validation Theory, created by Dr. Laura Rendon, acknowledges students as valuable community members capable of learning and success. Validation is important for all; it increases confidence and motivation and includes building relationships and affirming students' knowledge and strengths. This approach is especially beneficial for students of color, adult learners, first-generation students, and students from diverse backgrounds.
The second discussion planned for the Fall 2023 semester will be led by Program Manager and Certified Strength Coach, Christie Cremer, and Director of Student Support Services, Heather Grayson. They will host a conversation about using your inborn strengths, gifts, and talents to help strengthen yourself and those around you with Mental Health.
Eleven CWI employees are certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructors. MHFA teaches individuals the skills necessary to help someone who may be developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. This research and evidence based program promotes mental health literacy to help the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness.
The course introduces participants to the MHFA Action Plan, ALGEE, a five-step plan that can be used to provide support to someone in distress. Additionally, participants learn the risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance abuse, engage in experiential activities to build an understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families and discuss evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.
CWI employees interested in attending MHFA training can visit the Fall 2023 MHFA training article to learn more.
For those with questions or interested in learning more about the MHFA Brown Bag Discussions, please contact Christy Babcock at email@example.com.