Lincoln University Students Take Mental Health Training on MLK Day

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Lincoln University, Pa. – Thirty-three Lincoln University students participated in a free, eight-hour mental health first aid training as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 16 to prepare themselves to serve the University community and beyond.

“Most of us would know how to help if we saw someone having a heart attack—we’d start CPR, or at the very least, call 911,” said Rachel Manson, Mental Health First Aid trainer and Counseling Services director, who conducted the training. “But too few of us would know how to respond if we saw someone having a panic attack, or if we were concerned that a friend or co-worker might be showing signs of a mental health crisis.

Manson said the training—while not in the traditional vein of community service projects-—encouraged students to make the holiday a “day on, not a day off,” noting the students’ significant time investment for the training.

BreJona Whitlock,  a fourth year Lincoln University mass communications major from Pittsburgh, coordinated the classes “to provide the student body with the proper resources to ‘be their brother's keeper.’ Many times we have good intentions but don't realize there's an actual process towards mental wellness.”

Jarrett Brown, a second year biology major from Plainfield, New Jersey, attended the training and afterward said, “I can now help stop stigmas instead of feeding them.”

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The internationally researched and evidence-based education program gives participants the skills needed to reach out and provide the initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

Counseling Services addresses the psychological, behavioral and emotional needs of students through individual and group counseling, crisis management, consultation and assessment services.

Article by Shelley Mix. Photo courtesy of Rachel Manson.