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20 First Sergeants Earn Certification in “Mental Health First Aid

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas --

Nearly 20 first sergeants from throughout the 37th Training Wing gathered Oct. 7 at the Pfingston Reception Center, JBSA-Lackland, Texas, to be certified in “Mental Health First Aid.”

The eight-hour skills-based training course, taught by Lt. Col. (Dr.) Kieran Dhillon and Senior Master Sgt. Huey Watson, teaches participants about mental health and substance abuse issues.  At the completion of the course, attendees received their national certification from the National Council for Behavioral Health for three years. The course covered a wide variety of mental health conditions, looking at symptoms and exploring options on how to help impacted individuals.

Colonel Dhillon is an Operational Psychologist, and Chief, Military Training Consultation Service, at the 737th Training Group. “We got some great feedback from the first sergeants on how useful this class is in and out of work place. It really helps eliminate the mystery and stigma for mental health. Mental Health First Aiders are able to help someone developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis until appropriate support is received or the crisis resolves,” she said.