Mental Health First Aid Workshop

Mental Health First Aid Workshop

Because of recent concerns about increased suicide rates and instances of other mental health problems in the greater bhutanese community, BCAA sponsored training in mental health first aid at the Patterson Park Community Center on May 7, 2016.  This training gave participants an overview of common mental health problems, introduced them to a mental health action plan, and gave them ideas on how to respond to be proactive in preventing crises and how to react to a person who is in crisis.  

Two experienced teachers, Ashok Gurung and Sona Shilpakar, came to the Patterson Park Community Center in Akron, Ohio to present a day-long course for 30 participants.  BCAA provided a lunch catered by the Nepali Kitchen.

Ashok Gurung
Mental health first aid instructor
BS University of Pittsburgh (Biology)
BSc Tribhuvan University, Nepal (Microbiology)

Sona Shilpakar
Medical and public health trainer
MPH University of Pittsburgh
Completed medical training in Russia
Worked as doctor in Nepal


After participates completed a Pre-Course Questionnaire about their previous knowledge of and experience with mental health diseases they were experienced a variety of lectures, exercises, and readings.  
They learned that 

* an estimated that 1 in 5 of Americans will have a diagnosable mental health problem in any given year

* a mental health first aid action plan is needed

* it is important to understand depression and anxiety

* anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar, eating, and schizophrenia are the more common forms of mental disorder

* some of the terms used to describe mental health problems include mental disorder, emotional disorder, emotional distress, psychiatric illness, mental illness, nervous exhaustion, mental breakdown, nervous breakdown, and burnout.

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