Mental health first aid course comes just in time for one local school

Madison College now recommends the class to all
Mental health first aid course comes just in time for one local school

Dan Muxfeld has a different set of supplies in his first-aid kit, ones that tackle mental illness instead of physical.

He puts those supplies to use teaching a mental health first-aid course.

“(It’s) really just the mental health equivalent of a basic first-aid class that we’re all familiar with,” Muxfeld said.

He has taught the class for four years, and he said he sees the difference.

“We may be saving a life,” he said. “We certainly may be turning a life around substantially.”

Those results are what attracted Denise Holin, who brought the program to Madison College.

“It was really about listening and learning and helping to find the right resources for our students,” Holin said.

Her timing might not have been more perfect. About a week after that training, Holin said one of the staff members found a student in the bathroom who needed help. From there, they were able to connect the student to the crisis center on campus, which the student may not have otherwise found. After that, they helped another.

“I think it really gets down to sometimes saving someone’s life,” Muxfeld said, “and more important, getting them back to what most of us think is normal.”

Now Holin recommends it to everyone.

“The on-staff training that we received was excellent,” she said, “and from that we helped intervene, and I’m sure not only two students, but maybe we intervene more students than we possibly know.”

The mental health first-aid course is available for people to sign up and bring to a school or office. The class is about $80 a person.