New specialty treats mental health with first aid

Capital News Service
LANSING — The number of individuals trained in mental health first aid that help people detect early warning signs of mental illness is growing in Michigan, according to the  Department of Health and Human Services. More than 25,000 Michiganders are trained in mental health first aid, most of them taught as a result of state grants, according to Jennifer Eisner, public information officer for the department. A state grant for nearly $2 million was divided between two  mental health services providers, according to Beverly Ryskamp, supervisor at one of the grant’s recipients, Grand Rapids’ Network 180. “It’s (Mental Health First Aid) to reduce the stigma and to help people be somewhat like a first responder,” said Wendy Ludwig, a mental health first aid trainer and St. Joseph Community Health therapist.