Caring for those who suffer from mental illness presents many challenges. Mental health professionals say that one of the most important lessons for families to learn is that they didn’t cause their loved one’s disorder and they can’t cure it. But, they can help their loved one to deal with their illness. Unfortunately, because of the perceived stigma of mental illness, many families are hesitant to reach out for help. But through support, they can gain strength and, more importantly, gain valuable knowledge in how to best help those they care about.
For family members dealing with mental disorders, a free eight-hour course — Mental Health First Aid — can teach them how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse disorders. Sponsored by No Shame On U (a mental health support organization) and the Jewish Children Family Services (JCFS), Mental Health First Aid will be presented in two, four-hour sessions: Sunday, July 9, and Sunday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sessions on both days will be held at the Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Skokie. Mental health trainer Nina Henry will lead the sessions and she says that this training “is an important tool for friends and family members to know how to deal with loved ones living with Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder and many other mental health conditions.”
Mental Health First Aid is a free course, but you do need to register in advance. Here is a link to an Eventbrite information page. The Ida Crown Jewish Academy is located at 8233 Central Park Avenue, Skokie, IL 60076.