Mental Health First-Aid class aims to educate people about the issue

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —”We just want people to leave here feeling a little bit more confident that they can talk to someone about their mental health,” said Kristen Barrick, Licensed Professional Counselor.

That’s just one of the many goals of Barrick’s Mental Health First-Aid class that was held at Amarillo College Friday morning.

“We like to gather people together to learn more about what’s going on with people’s mental health. Sometimes people are here to learn for themselves other times people come because they have a family member that’s maybe battling some anxiety or depression, so we like to educate people about some symptoms,” said Barrick.

Barrick says that one of the more noticeable symptoms of those that are going through a mental health crisis is withdrawal.

“That’s a big sign that maybe something is going on, maybe it’s nothing. Maybe they’re tired. It never hurts to just say hey, how are you today and then expect a real answer,” said Barrick.

The class also addresses the common notion of not talking publicly about your mental health.

“One of my goals is to destigmatize talking about what’s going on inside your brain. There’s things that we can do to help other people to know that it’s ok to talk about it, that we don’t have to hide behind closed doors,” said Barrick.

Barrick says her passion for the subject comes from her own experiences and that there are avenues to help out people in need.

“I know what it’s like to feel alone. It’s hard for me to stand up here and talk for eight hours. But at the end of every day, I feel like maybe I made just a little bit of difference for somebody,” said Barrick.

The class is free and open to the public. For more information on how to register for future classes, click here: https://www.actx.edu/safety/safety-class-schedule

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