The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 15, 2013

Mike Pound: Mental health first aid course a good idea

I was chatting with Rick Wiseman the other day about mental illness.

Rick works for the Joplin chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, better known as NAMI. We were talking about the fact that this country’s ways of dealing with mental illness are under review after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. We both agreed that is a good thing.

Then I mentioned Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association, and his call for a national database to track the mentally ill. We both agreed it is not a good thing.

“It would make those with mental illness second-class citizens,” Rick said. “It would be no different than making Jews wear yellow stars.”

One of the goals of NAMI is to provide assistance and comfort to those suffering from mental illness and to provide support for their families. Another goal is to educate the public about mental illness, to help the public understand that mental illness shouldn’t be a stigma and to explain the obstacles that those suffering from mental illness face every day.

One of the difficult things about mental illness is that there are so many types and degrees of illness.

That, by the way, is one reason LaPierre’s database suggestion is such a bad idea.

There are some things you can do to deal with someone who might be having some sort of an issue relating to mental health. One way is to recognize when someone is in trouble and how to help the person, and Joplin NAMI wants to teach people how to do just that.

On Friday, Feb. 1, and Saturday, Feb. 2, Joplin NAMI is holding a two-day course titled Mental Health First Aid. The seminar was developed at the University of Melbourne in Australia and was brought to the United States by a joint effort of people in Missouri and Maryland.

Rick said the course will teach people how to provide assistance to someone experiencing a problem until professionals can arrive and take over. It’s much like providing basic first aid to an accident victim until paramedics arrive.

The seminar, Rick said, will teach participants how to recognize why someone is behaving the way he is and how to safely defuse the situation. The key word, by the way, is safely, Rick said.

“There should be no physical contact, and you should always keep yourself in a safe position,” he said.

“I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from the training — pastors, doctors, the foreman on the floor at a factory, the person working the front desk of an office.”

The seminar, which will run from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. both days, will be taught by Mike Jones, of Branson. A former U.S. Marine chaplain, Mike has three psychology degrees and works with veterans struggling with mental illness.

This is the first time this year that Joplin NAMI is offering the seminar. It was offered five times last year, Rick said.

Rick said spots for the seminar have been filling up quickly, but there are still spaces available. For more information about the course, people may call Diana Harper at 417-291-3173.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ballot issues dominate GOP event

    A maze of campaign yard signs lined the sidewalk at Big Spring Park, leading up to a line of local candidates for public office with rolled-up sleeves shaking hands with potential voters.

    July 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound: It’s time for some football

    The arrests, the announced suspensions and the contract disputes can mean only one thing: Somebody is ready for some football.

    July 24, 2014

  • Landfill opponents seek answers

    The Baxter Springs High School auditorium was filled with hundreds of Cherokee County residents Thursday night as Galena city officials answered questions and listened to comments regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hanaway says leadership missing under Gov. Nixon

    When Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Hanaway walked into the banquet room at Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant this week, she was greeted by some of Joplin’s more prominent business leaders.

    July 24, 2014

  • Neosho athletes bring home silver

    For 19-year-old Dominque Dechant, it was the trip of a lifetime. She and three other athletes from Neosho traveled last month to Newark, New Jersey, as part of the Missouri Special Olympics girls basketball team.

    July 24, 2014

  • r072414msw.jpg VIDEO: Carterville company expands to third generation

    What began as Ray “Mac” McCoy’s side job in his home 55 years ago has grown not only in square footage and reach, but in generations. This summer, a third generation took over the reins of MSW — Mac’s Specialty Woodwork — that now exceeds 90,000 square feet and creates custom furniture for chain restaurants coast to coast.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shrine Bowl band, cheerleaders, players arrive in Pittsburg this week

    Band members were the first Kansas Shrine Bowl participants to arrive at Pittsburg State University this week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Amendment 8 in Missouri proposes a special lottery ticket to help fund state veterans homes. How will you vote?

For it.
Against it.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter