Health organization informs about mental illness and how to help

Students learn about helping others in eight-hour session

By Kierstyn Wiley
On February 1, 2019

Photo by Ian Saint: ASU hosted a seminar in conjunction with MHMR of the Concho Valley. This seminar equipped those who attended with the knowledge to recognize and respond to those suffering from mental illnesses.


A local mental health organization on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 educated students and faculty in the Houston Harte University Center on the importance of mental illness. 
The MHMR facility discussed significant points to individuals who either want to get help or help others with depression or anxiety. 
“The purpose of the class is to get individuals to be first responders to those who experience a mental health crisis or individuals who have a diagnosed mental illness” said Charles Vandiver, crisis intervention specialist.
The free eight-hour training taught how to identify and respond to those who may suffer from a mental illness and how to encourage that person to get help. 
Vandiver said some symptoms or signs of depression and anxiety may or may not be limited to: constant anger, long periods of sadness, actions of quietness or loss of interest.
“Most people understand when someone is agitated or crying uncontrollably,” Vandiver said. “You really don’t have to be an expert or have a degree to get the person to a professional therapist, counselor, psychiatrist or a hospital.”
Some methods to help decrease negative thoughts of depression and anxiety may include: cognitive therapy, medications, exercise and meditation techniques.
“I think it is definitely good to have a good support system,” sophomore Jordan Anderson said. “There are things in society that should change how people react to situations and not say that suicide is the only option.”
The organization also stressed the importance of being patient with people who struggle with a mental illness.
 “Most people are unaware that we lack providers because the population in the field are aging out and fewer people are going in,” Vandiver said. “If we could give basic construction to individuals, more and more people are able to help.”
For more information about mental illness, visit the MHMR website, contact ASU Crisis HelpLine at 325-486-6345 or call ASU Counseling Services at 325-942-2371. 


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