Class formed to help community members recognize signs of mental - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Class formed to help community members recognize signs of mental illness


Because of the recent shootings around the country, one East Texas organization has formed a new class to make sure people in the community recognize the signs of mental health disorders.

The Andrews Center of Tyler will be hosting a mental health first aid class that will be open to the public at no cost. Forensic therapist Marisha Roberts said they are doing this to take a proactive stance to get people help before it's too late.

"We're really wanting early intervention for people, so they can get  help before they really go down hill and it gets very serious. We would like to help on the front end," Roberts said.

The mental health first aid class is a free, twice-a-month, day-long class designed to teach people how to recognize the signs of a mental health disorder in friends, family and others in order to prevent them from hurting themselves or others.

"It is an evidence-based teaching strategy to help citizens identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, how to intervene in hostile situations and get the person to care," Director of Forensic Services Valerie Holcomb said.

The Andrews Center decided to offer more classes because of the recent shootings and increased interest. So far, they already completely filled the February class.

"After the President made his speech there was a greater awareness that the class even existed. So yes, we've had a lot of calls about it," Roberts said.

With the large population of veterans in East Texas, the class is offering extensive training in post traumatic stress disorder.

"It'd be excellent for family members of veterans, who fear they may have PTSD, have the family members learn those signs," Holcomb said.

The class will be held on February 27th and 28th at the Andrews Center in Tyler from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are also offering classes on March 27th and 28th. The February class is full, but the March class still have availabilities.

Click here for more information, or to sign up for the class

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