Millions of Americans struggle with mental health issues, making it vital for family members and friends to recognize the signs.
St. Luke’s in Meridian offered a mental health training class for civilians today.
The free two-day training helped folks identify mental health problems including anxiety and depression. They also learned how to help someone in a mental health crisis before the situation has the possibility of escalating.
Some in attendance were all too familiar with the issue of suicide.
Linda Peterson, the mother of the late Olympic Medalist Jeret Peterson, attended the class. Jeret committed suicide in 2011.
His mom says the class opened up her eyes.
"It gives you black and white the symptoms to look for and a whole different perspective,” she said. “You know, it brings an understanding and people have a fear of the unknown and this dissolves the unknown; it gives you information and tools. "
Their learned skills will allow them to assist and support loved ones who might suffer from mental illness.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues call the Idaho Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Operators will answer your call and talk you through a crisis or even a stressful situation.