Add To Favorites

Mental health first aid trainings have reached 4,000

Commercial-News - 9/14/2023

Sep. 14—Mental Health First Aid Trainings continue to reach more people.

The Vermilion County Mental Health 708 Board is offering Mental Health First Aid Trainings in adult and youth curriculums. Trainings are free of charge to anyone who wishes to attend regardless of residency. Everyone is welcomed.

The Youth Curriculum is for adults that have children/siblings, work with youth or just know a young person.

The Adult Curriculum is for anyone over the age of 18.

Mental Health First Aid teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges.

A group of five or more can schedule its own personal training.

The Vermilion County Mental Health 708 Board hosts trainings every month. They begin at 8:30 a.m., central time. The twice-a-month trainings are at the Vermilion County Health Department, 200 S. College St., Danville.

Upcoming trainings are: Sept. 15; Oct. 13 and 20; Nov. 3 and 17; and Dec. 1 and 15, for youth curriculum the first dates of the month and adult curriculum the second dates.

They've been doing first and third Fridays, but starting in January the trainings will be moving to first and third Wednesdays of the month.

Vermilion County 708 Mental Health Board Executive Director Jim Russell said he's been doing the trainings since 2016. They had a training grant in 2015.

"We've trained over 4,000 people in and around Vermilion County in one of those two curriculums," Russell said.

They also can go on the road if there is an agency, company or organization that wants to bring the training to them, they can do that too, he said.

Depression and the work force: More than 30 million Americans are affected yearly by depression. The annual cost to the economy is billions of dollars. The cost to the human suffering is immeasurable. This training makes a difference.

"If somebody is in a crisis, one of the things that we're hoping is that we can learn as a community, as a society, to recognize some of the signs and symptoms that people start manifesting and get some help to them before it gets to the point of being a crisis," Russell said.

Mental health services in Illinois, however, also are in a crisis because they can't find enough people for the work, he added.

"So that continues to be a challenge," Russell said.

The training has funding through November 2024 from Vermilion County and Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services.

If interested in attending the training, call, text or email Beth Bray Knecht at 217-516-2298 or You may also reach out to Jim Russell at 217-443-3500.


(c)2023 the Commercial-News (Danville, Ill.)

Visit the Commercial-News (Danville, Ill.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.