In partnership with the McLean County Mental Health First Aid Collaborative, the Central Illinois Area Health Education Center (AHEC) at Illinois State University is sponsoring a five-day Mental Health First Aid Train the Trainer course in Bloomington on April 11–15, 2016. The course is being held at the McLean County Health Department.

Mental Health First Aid logoThe collaborative includes Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Central Illinois Area Health Education Center, Chestnut Health Systems, McLean County Center for Human Services, McLean County Health Department, and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center. The Central Illinois AHEC’s intent is to improve health care for rural and underserved residents by providing access to health professions education and development, and public health promotion activities.

Mental Health First Aid teaches people to better understand, recognize and respond to individuals experiencing a mental illness or mental health crisis. The instructor certification training is taught by two trainers from the National Council for Behavioral Health, manager of the evidence-based Mental Health First Aid program in the United States. Thirty instructor candidates are coming from six of the 14 counties comprising the Central Illinois AHEC region, eastern, northern and southern Illinois, and seven other states including Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Minnesota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. There is a cross section of representation from hospitals, behavioral health, first responders, public health, and education. Certified instructors will provide Mental Health First Aid 8-hour classes in their regions and organizations.

For more information, visit Mental Health First Aid’s website. Persons wishing to obtain additional information may contact Director Sharon Mills at