Wonder Valley Community Center coordinator Teresa Sitz; along with community center volunteers Ken Sitz and Jill Reinig show off the certificates they received after training in menta health first aid.

WONDER VALLEY — Wonder Valley Community Center coordinator Teresa Sitz along with volunteers Ken Sitz and Jill Reinig will now be able to help residents experiencing mental health crises.

They were certified in Mental Health First Aid last week after eight hours of training through the Riverside University Health System.

“There are people in our community who deal with various mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. We wanted to educate ourselves and learn better ways to communicate with them and offer resources,” Teresa Sitz said.

“We now know how to de-stigmatize mental illness so that people can feel safe to reach out for support.”

The three are also on the board of the Friends of Wonder Valley, a nonprofit charitable organization.

“Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour evidence-based training that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses and substance abuse, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common supports,” Sitz said.

The course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to offer someone help in a mental health crisis.

To register for a Mental Health First Aid course or for more information, email PEI@ruhealth.org.

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