Mental Health First Aid


The Mental Health First Aid training workshop on Feb. 28 gave an overall view of mental health and helped people learn how to support others who may be going through problems at Skyline College.

The attendees learned how to keep a person safe and were informed of what they should and should not do in specific situations.

The reasons why someone does certain things were also pointed out. For instance, the reasons for self-injury and also how to help someone who self-injures.

The attendees also were directed to when it is necess


ary to call for emergency aid and, among other things, were presented with The Action Plan.

There were no prerequisites to be enrolled in the Mental Health First Aid training.

“It is for everybody,” explained Priscilla Bustos, who is interning for the Behavioral Health & Recovery Services at the Office of Diversity and Equity for the San Mateo County. Her role is supporting mental health programs.

Bustos mentioned how it does not matter your profession, or if you are a young student, you can take the training. She took the Youth Mental Health First Aid.

She explained that the training helps to break stigmas and allows the classroom to have easier conversations about mental health.

Bustos said how hard it is to talk about big topics in one day. She explained that it covers the surface, but it is also enough for you to be equipped for when things come up. There is also the option of taking more trainings that can be more specific.

She talked about how there is so much about mental health out there, and how important it is to break misconceptions.

“Knowing what mental health is and that a lot of people struggle with it, there is support and you are not really alone in it,” said Bustos.

Carmen Richardson, who teaches cosmetology at Skyline College, attended the Mental Health First Aid and said how sometimes the students can have some issues she or other teachers are not familiar with. She wants to be able to support her students.

Richardson said the training was informative and that she ended up learning about mental health not only for her students, but for her family as well.

“I think it should be mandatory for our staff and faculty at the college,” Richardson said.

It was a voluntary thing, and she pointed out how most faculty members were there, but not each department was covered.

Virginia Rosales, who is a counselor at Skyline College, felt how important it is to be aware and have the skills to support people, on or off campus, at any time.

She said how the facilitators delivered the information in a calm way, even though it addressed heavy topics.

Rosales described the workshop as helpful and pointed out how positive it is to have group interactions that can help as practice for when a situation come up.

“I’ll be more able to create a safe space for my students,” Rosales said. “So they’re comfortable to reach out to me.”