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Mental Health First Aid & CALM Conversations

July 25 @ 9:00 am 5:00 pm CDT

The Veteran Spouse Network is excited to offer a full-day of suicide prevention trainings FREE with both: Mental Health First Aid and Conversations on Access to Lethal Means (CALM Conversations) with VSN staff member and trainer Ashley Craig.

The Veteran Spouse Network is providing FREE Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) to prepare our communities with the knowledge and skills to help military-connected individuals and their families developing mental health problems or experiencing a mental health crisis.

What you learn in MHFA:

Key components of the module for military members, veterans, and their families include:

  • A discussion of military culture and its relevance to the topic of mental health
  • A discussion of the specific risk factors faced by many service members and their families, such as trauma, both mental and physical, stress, separation, etc.
  • Applying the ALGEE action plan in several scenarios designed specifically for service members, their families, and those who support them
  • A review of common mental health resources for service members, their families, and those who support them

Next, the Conversations on Access to Lethal Means (CALM Conversations) workshop provides individuals with the tools to have a very important conversation about safety around and access to lethal means. In our military and veteran family community, reducing access to lethal means, such as firearms and medication, can determine whether a person at risk for suicide lives or dies. To learn more about the CALM workshop, please read on.

CALMConversations on Access to Lethal Means is a suicide prevention training that encourages the safe storage of lethal means during a suicidal crisis. By temporarily putting time and distance between a suicidal person and highly lethal means, a life may be saved.

The effectiveness of CALM is not limited to clinical interactions. Many people at risk for suicide do not ever seek or receive formal mental or physical health care for these issues. Fortunately, CALM can be implemented by anyone who is concerned about a relative, friend, or someone with whom they work. These workshops add specific CALM strategies to typical gatekeeper training and also offer participants the opportunity to observe and practice the techniques. If your work (or life) frequently puts you in touch with people who are at their lowest–perhaps you’re a defense or divorce attorney, tend bar, serve eviction notices, teach court-ordered drunk driving classes–this workshop may help you save lives.

But this workshop is not just for mental health professionals, or individuals working with those who could be at risk. This workshop is for anyone who may be wondering how to have a conversation with a friend, loved one, or coworker about safety and access to lethal means.

What Conversations on Access to Lethal Means is and is not:

  1. CALM is anti-suicide not anti-gun or anti-drugs
  2. CALM is a specific and effective part of suicide prevention
  3. CALM is not a suicide risk assessment
  4. CALM is not the answer but should be included –anyone can do it – not just professionals

Participants in CALM training will:

  1. Become more knowledgeable about suicide facts
  2. Learn how to inquire about the accessibility of lethal means
  3. Learn how to suggest safe storage
  4. Leand about results of lethal means reduction in countries outside the U.S.

**We must have a minimum of 5 registrants.

EmpowerEd trainings are open to the wider military-affiliated community and are offered periodically, free of charge through the Veteran Spouse Network.

Encouraged participants include the spouse or partner of an active duty service member or post-service veteran, a caregiver or divorced spouse from a veteran or active duty service member, or an active duty service member or veteran.