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Behind the Scenes Announces Autumn Schedule for Mental Health First Aid Training

PLSN Staff • NewsStage DirectionsTheater News • August 16, 2021

USA – The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative has posted the Autumn schedule for online Mental Health First Aid training for entertainment industry workers in the U.S. at btshelp.org/mhfa.

More details from BTS (www.btshelp.org):

The Delta variant has now clouded the road map for the return to work and created additional stress and anxiety for those scheduled to resume work over the next few months, as well as those currently employed who are trying to cope with constantly changing safety protocols. Reports from around the industry show a rising level of concern for the mental wellbeing of industry workers, and individuals who have responsibility for others working with or under them are increasingly asking for training in how to provide support to those workers.

Mental Health First Aid takes the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems by teaching you how to recognize the signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen non judgmentally and give reassurance to someone who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, and how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.

Whether you are in a supervisory position or simply want to be able to assist co-workers, this training will provide you with the skills you need. Post class evaluations continue to be extremely high with over 97% of respondents rating the class value as very high or high value and over 96% stating the training covered issues they have previously seen arise in their workplaces.

The live virtual training instructor is an industry veteran who brings a working knowledge of what it’s like to be in the trenches to the classes. One attendee commented, “Bryan Huneycutt’s deep industry experience brought relevance and situational reality to the material, and facilitated thoughtful conversation around the topics.” Other comments included, “I was given a great foundation to become aware or notice if someone is behaving differently and or having a more serious mental health issue and how to approach, interact and offer help.” And “I work in a high-pressure, long-hours environment and regularly find myself supporting individuals at various levels of mental fatigue. I’m grateful to know what to look for and how to approach a person in need.”

The course is delivered in two parts. The first is a 2-4 hour self-paced online course that must be completed prior to the second part which is a 6 hour virtual live instructor led session. Go to btshelp.org/mhfa to learn more and to select the date and time you wish to attend the virtual live instructor led session. Upon completing the course you will become a certified Mental Health First Aider which is valid for three years.

The registration fee is $125. IATSE Members and those working under IATSE agreements may be eligible for Training Trust Fund reimbursement upon proof of successful completion of the course. A limited number of partial and full scholarships are available to individuals not eligible for reimbursement. Private group classes of 15 -20 are available – contact mhfa@btshelp.org for information. Training for Canadians is available through the AFC at https://afchelps.ca/mhfa.

Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your skill sets by learning how to identify, understand and respond to signs of distress in your colleagues and help make our workplaces healthier and safer spaces for all. Visit btshelp.org/mentalhealth to see all the available tools and resources.

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