Demand for Mental Health Training Skyrockets as Pandemic Worsens

Mankato Free Press (November 15, 2020) — On a sunny afternoon in October, a Mankato police officer carefully approached a man sitting on the ledge of the North Star Bridge overlooking the Minnesota River. Within an hour, the officer talked the man into walking off the bridge to an ambulance waiting to take him to the hospital.

When someone is going through a mental health crisis, remaining nonjudgmental, using words carefully, listening and showing compassion are just some of the techniques Mankato Clinic psychiatric nurse Mary Beth Trembley teaches as part of a daylong Mental Health First Aid training. Her students range from parents to social workers, teachers and law enforcement.

“This training provides techniques that are extremely beneficial in dealing with that type of a situation,” said Jeremy Clifton, assistant director of operations for the Mankato Department of Public Safety.

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