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New Thought Center for Spiritual Living is hosting mental health first aid training starting today, Jan. 18, and again Friday and Saturday, Jan. 19 and 20

For The Review, Tidings

New Thought Center for Spiritual Living will offer mental health first aid training Jan. 18, 19 and 20 at the church, located at 1040 C Ave., in Lake Oswego. This training gives people the tools to identify when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and when others need to be connected with appropriate support and resources.

One in five Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. For friends and family members it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get the care needed until it is too late.

Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

"Through this program we hope to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems," said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. in 2008. "When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need."

The training at New Thought Center will be provided by Bishop Bonnie Radden and Calvin DuPree, certified Mental Health First Aid instructors for six years.

Radden holds master's degrees in clinical psychology and pastoral counseling, and has been certified in crisis counseling from University of South California to respond to mass crisis situations like the shootings at the Pulse Night Club in Florida and in Las Vegas.

She has been hired to set up a wellness center in response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas. She serves on the advisory board to Los Angeles Department of Mental Health, and has serve for the past four years on the Clergy Advisory Board to the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health.

She has served for the past 21 years as the senior pastor to Refiner's Fire Fellowship United Church of Christ in Long Beach, Calif. She also serves as the West Coast Regional Bishop to the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries under the leadership of Bishop Yvette Flunder.

DuPree serves on the ministerial staff at Refiner's Fire Fellowship and leads the Daily Blaze, an online encouragement ministry.

New Thought Center is offering the training from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, Friday, Jan. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 20. To register visit newthoughtcsl.bree4zechms.com/form/c2f58f.

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