Rural Health Network of South Central New York offers ‘Mental Health First Aid’ program, teaching people how to respond to mental health and substance use

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – The Rural Health Network of South Central New York is offering a “Mental Health First Aid” program that will teach the community how to recognize and respond to a mental health or substance use crisis.

Mental Health First Aid program is completely free and taught virtually. Rural Health Network’s Director of Community Health Education, Mary Maruscak, said she wants mental health first aid to be as commonplace as CPR or clinical first aid that people receive throughout their lives.

“We’ve seen the numbers of substance use and overdoses increasing by the hundreds of thousands every year,” said Maruscak. “About 1 in 5 adults in the United States struggle with mental health concerns, and we have seen all of those numbers increasing exponentially as a result of the pandemic – so it’s important now more than ever.”

More information on how to register for the Virtual Mental Health First Aid program can be found by calling the Rural Health Network SCNY at 607-352-4681.

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