Mental health center offers free training to teachers

Jennifer Henry, a school teacher from Baytown, listened closely to the instructor of the Mental Health First Aid training course at the Spindletop Center in Beaumont Wednesday afternoon.

It's a two day course that teaches how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia.

"A lot of times what you think to do in a mental health circumstance is exactly the wrong thing to do, like telling a person who's feeling seriously depressed to 'snap out of it' or 'you have so much to live for'," said Spindeltop spokesperson Janna Fulbright.

The class was offered free to educators. And Henry believes a better knowledge of mental disorders could help decrease violence in schools.

"This actually gives you a little more of a leg-up and a better understanding of the variety of issues that children may have," she said.

The Spindletop Center offers mental health services for all of Southeast Texas. Fulbright says now, more than ever, is the time to talk about disorders, especially after President Obama called for an increase in mental health programs as part of his gun reform proposals.

"So when courses like this come up we think they're invaluable and to have the president weigh in on that and throw his support behind it is a fantastic thing," Fulbright said.

Henry is throwing her support behind it too.

"I highly recommend people take it," she said.

The course will be offered again in May. If you are interested in enrolling, call the Spindletop Center at (409) 839-1000.


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