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Betty Hardwick Center teaching classes on mental health awareness

ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) - The Betty Hardwick Center is teaching classes for the fourth year on how people can recognize and handle mental health issues.

"Mental Health First Aid is very much what CPR is to the medical world," said Teresa McBride, a clinical director for the Betty Hardwick Center's Psychiatry Clinic.

"The class is an eight-hour class, and it was developed in Australia in 2001, and it's taught all around the world now," said Jennifer Farrar, the Chief of Intellectual and Developmental Disability Service at the Betty Hardwick Center. "I think the most important thing that we're trying to do in mental health first aid is really teaching people more literacy about mental illness and what happens around mental illness."

The classes teach ways in which people can recognize and assist those with mental health issues.

"The goal is to just give the general public and professionals tools to recognize mental illness," said Farrar.

"We have something called algae and the first thing is to assess suicide risk and the second thing, probably the most important thing, is listening non-judgmentally," said McBride. 

The class is centered around the theme of listening to others.

"The most respectful thing we do for another human being is to listen to them," said McBride.

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