Mental Health First Aid Training

Mental health first aid training offered to military members, veterans and loved ones

Every day, 20 veterans die by suicide, and about 18.5 percent of service members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, according to federal authorities.

And when it comes to active duty members, about a quarter showed signs of mental health in a 2014 study published in JAMA Psychiatry, per the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

For all these reasons and more, knowing how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse is critical to ensure our nation’s heroes receive the appropriate care they need and deserve.

And so on Monday, Feb. 27, the Family Resiliency Center of the Permian Basin is encouraging military members, veterans and their families and friends to receive Mental Health First Aid training, which is certified by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare.

The training will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at PermiaCare at 401 E. Illinois, Suite 103 in Midland.

Knowing how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse is critical.

“So many people are out there wishing for something better, hoping that will show up,” said Tousha Paxton-Barnes, a U.S. Army veteran. “That’s what Mental Health First Aid is — it is help to get people connected to care and ultimately to get them to a better place.”

The Feb. 27 training will 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 mental and physical trauma, stress, separation etc.; how to break down the stigma associated with substance abuse disorders and mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and more; how to reach out to those who suffer in silence or are reluctant to seek help; and community resource information and support.

Military members, veterans and families and friends of military members or veterans are encouraged to take the course, which will teach them to assess risks of suicide or harm, listen nonjudgmentally, offer reassurance and information, and encourage appropriate professional help, self-help and other support strategies.

To register, see the form below or contact Dalia Ramirez at or (432) 570-3322 with questions.

The Family Resiliency Center of the Permian Basin is an Odessa-based nonprofit serving the community with trauma-informed therapy, mental health trainings, Critical Incident Stress Management sessions and much more all free of charge,