Mental health disorders affect everyone. In any given year, approximately 58 million (nearly one-in-four) Americans will experience a mental health disorder. One in 17 adults lives with schizophrenia, severe depression or bipolar disorder, and one in 10 children suffers from a serious mental or emotional disorder.

To address this serious issue, a certified MHFA instructor will offer a program to help individuals learn more about how to recognize the symptoms of mental illness, what types of community services are available and how to better interact with individuals who suffer from mental illnesses.

The MHFA program (www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org) began in 2001 and is now in 17 countries. It is managed by the National Council on Community Behavioral Health and the states of Maryland and Missouri. Recently, President Obama endorsed this program for teachers in order to help them better identify signs of mental health disorders in young people and help them get treatment.

The two-part course will be offered in the St. Dominic parish meeting room, 6th and E Streets SW, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on April 14 and 21. This course is open to anyone who has an interest in learning more about mental disorders, but anyone who has a close friend or relative who suffers from a mental disorder is especially encouraged to attend.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Registration will close on April 3. The course is free, but the cost of materials is $15. To register, please call 202-554-7863 or email social@stdominicchurch.org.

By Cecilia Daly

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