Friendship Is Good for Our Mental Health

“One of the things we learn in Adult Mental Health First Aid, is that spending time with your friends is good for your mental health,” said Ceseña.

(San Bernardino, Calif.)  “It’s one of those ‘everybody knows’ things, that men tend to be reluctant to ask for help when they need it. To counter the negative stigma that’s attached to the whole mental health industry, we now offer classes for people who have friends or family that may be going through some tough times,” said Inland Empire Men’s Mental Health Program Manager Gerzon Ceseña.

The Making Hope Happen Foundation offers free classes through its Inland Empire Men’s Mental Health program for people who would like to help adults and youngsters who may be having a tough time.

Ceseña says, “We have three classes that teach about the warning signs for things ranging from aggressive acting-out to panic attacks, from depression to suicidal thoughts, and the right and wrong ways to approach those who are going through a rough patch and help them.”

“One of the things we learn in Adult Mental Health First Aid, is that spending time with your friends is good for your mental health,” said Ceseña.

The three classes are: QPR (Question / Persuade / Refer) Gatekeeper, Adult Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid.

The QPR Gatekeeper course is the shortest of the three, taking only about an hour to 90 minutes, depending on how many people are enrolled and the number of questions that are raised during the training. It covers the essentials of recognizing problem symptoms and how to help.

The Adult Mental Health First Aid class has seven sections and includes videos, role-playing and descriptive scenarios so participants can rehearse realistic situations with a knowledgeable instructor and be prepared to help someone who might be reluctant to open up to mental health professional but will talk with a friend.

Youth Mental Health First Aid has a self-paced opening section, followed by four more sections that cover various aspects of how to be an effective friend to a youth having problems.

Ceseña recommends the QPR Gatekeeper course as a first step for people who are interested in the training. “From there, QPR grads can go on to either the Adult or Youth First Aid class, depending on their individual focus,” he notes. Classes are delivered online via the Zoom Video Conference tool.

For more information, visit: https://www.mhhfmentalhealth.org/adult.html or call (909) 347-7234. Class schedules are updated monthly.

About Making Hope Happen Foundation

Making Hope Happen is a nonprofit foundation linked with the San Bernardino City Unified School District. The nonprofit is based on the philosophy of Gallop Senior Scientist Dr. Shane J. Lopez. Hope allows people to envision a better future, design a path toward that future, and take purposeful steps toward it.  As a result of a deep commitment to this quest, the San Bernardino Community and School Alliance (CASA was reorganized and renamed the Making Hope Happen Foundation).

The Foundation’s Inland Empire Men’s Mental Health program offers free mental health training for people who would like to be able to help friends or family members that would like to learn effective ways to approach friends or family members who seem to he has emotional or mental health problems but aren’t sure about what to say or do.

For more information on The IE Men’s Mental Health Program go to the group’s web page at IEMensMentalHealth.org or call (909) 347-7234.

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