The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Mental Health First Aid Training held


Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

Sixteen people gathered together to study detecting mental health crisis in youth Wednesday at the Community Mental Health center in Wakefield. The class was taught by Northpointe Behavioral Healthcare System training coordinator Philip Gardiepy-Hefner, who is teaching a similar class at Aspirus Ironwood today.


Wakefield - The Community Mental Health facility in Wakefield brought together a group of adults to learn about youth mental health issues and how to identify when there is a problem verses when a behavior is just being young.

Philip Gardiepy-Hefner, training coordinator for Northpointe Behavioral Healthcare Systems out of Kingsford, visited CMH Wednesday for the fifteenth time to provide for a mental health first aid class. While Wednesday's class was the youth first aid class for adults that work extensively with young people, Gardiepy-Hefner said he also conducts law enforcement, adult, higher education, veterans, and older adults mental health first aid classes.

Gardiepy-Hefner said the focus in the youth module, which is an 8 hour course, is identifying typical youth behavior verses behavior when there is a problem. The two types of behavior can look very similar, so the training is designed to foster confidence and education within the adults working with kids to identify behavior with at-risk circumstances.

"The goal is to have 1 million trained in the United States and by the year 2020 to have Mental Health First Aid training as common as CPR," said Gardiepy-Hefner.

He said 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental health issue and since they had 16 folks taking the training Wednesday, statistically there was a high likelihood at least four of them would have some kind of mental health issue.

The youth training for adults is broken down into three sections with different subsections in each consisting of:

-Mental health challenges and disorders in youth

-Mental health first aid for developing challenges and disorders in youth

-Mental health first aid for youth in crisis

Gardiepy-Hefner is training people at Aspirus Ironwood today and will be in Marquette Friday.


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