The College of the Albemarle (COA) announced plans to offer a mental health first aid course, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
Launching this spring, the eight-hour course will highlight warning signs for substance abuse or mental health issues.
Between 35-40% of Americans reported at least one mental or behavioral health condition from April to June 2020, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
Using the five-step action plan of ‘ALGEE,’ students “assess risk, listen without judging, give assurance and information, encourage professional help and encourage self-help,” according to the Virginian-Pilot.
Currently, the course is only open to students in the human services technology program. but will expand to law enforcement and those in education.
“The goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives,” Laura Gardner, program coordinator for human services technology at COA, said in a statement. “We don’t diagnose or solve the problem.”