FSW offers mental health training; here’s how you can learn

Reporter: Sydney Persing Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:
Credit: PDPics/Pixabay

A Southwest Florida school is moving forward with a mental health program for students and their teachers, but you don’t have to be one of them to learn how to help.

Florida SouthWestern State College is helping their school community get the resources they need during the pandemic.

The coronavirus changed – even stopped – a lot of things: classes, businesses, jobs, hugs, travel and hospital visits. It has taken a real toll.

“There is just anxiety. Before, you might see social anxiety; now that we’re socially distanced, there’s this anxiety of when is this ever going to end? And when it does end, what’s the world going to look like?” said Terri Housley, professor of psychology.

One thing coronavirus changed but won’t stop? FSW’s Mental Health First Aid training. It’s a free eight-hour course for students and staff.

“You don’t come out of it … you’re not a therapist, we don’t expect you to be a therapist, you don’t come out of it being a therapist. There’s none of that,” Housley said. “But it gives you this really rounded information on how to identify signs and symptoms, and then what to do about it.”

People are learning to look out for each other in this most difficult time and inspiring you to hopefully follow suit.

“Any time you have something of this nature, this caliber, we’re talking worldwide, yeah. You’re gonna see, everybody’s gonna have something that they’re having to deal with,” Housley said. “I think being that we are all in there together, globally, it might help us to not feel so alone in a situation where we are so alone.”

You can find a course near you on the Mental Health First Aid website.

FSW is hoping its students will know how to support not just each other, but everyone in the community.

RELATED: Mental health cases on the rise among SWFL youth

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