Mental health first aid course to start on St. Eustatius, Saba

­Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internation­ally recognised, interactive course in which participants learn how to engage in con­versation with children and adults who have or are de­veloping psychological is­sues. The free course takes half a day per week for four weeks. The course will be given in St. Eustatius from February 27 to 28 and on Saba from May 8 to 9.

When someone faints or gets hurt, most people know how to help. This is because many people have basic knowledge of first aid in case of accidents. But what do you do when an employee, child, student or friend suddenly says they hear voices, see things that are not there, or say they want to end their life? When such statements are made, the first-aid kit will not be of any help. This is where the Mental Health First Aid course comes in. Mental Health Caribbean is introducing the course free of charge with a grant from ZonMw, a Dutch or­ganisation for healthcare research and innovation. The course has already been successfully intro­duced in Curacao and Bo­naire.

According to Mental Health Caribbean, there is a great need for practi­cally applicable knowledge about mental disorders. This course is to increase the knowledge level of par­ticipants and teaches them to provide first aid for psy­chological problems.

During the course, partici­pants will learn to identify the problems at an early stage. In providing early support to people who are developing mental health problems, problems can be prevented from becoming worse.

Extensive scientific re­search has shown that course participants are more likely to recognise psychological problems and show supportive behaviour towards another person.

There is still space to participate in the course, but places are limited. Ev­eryone can participate; no prior knowledge is needed. Participation includes a book and course material. With full participation and passing a final test, par­ticipants will receive a cer­tificate and will become an MHFA “first responder”.

For registration, residents of Saba and Statia can send an email to When registering, state full name, telephone number and email ad­dress and indicate whether you are signing up for the MHFA standard course or the youth course.

For questions about the course, contact Zaira Bar­riento via email mhfacarib­, or call tel. 528-4878 or 685-4878.

The Daily Herald.

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