WACOG offering help to those undergoing mental health crises

WACOG is hosting a mental-health first-aid training event from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Saguaro room at Mohave County Administrative Building, 700 W. Beale St.

Adobe Images

WACOG is hosting a mental-health first-aid training event from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Saguaro room at Mohave County Administrative Building, 700 W. Beale St.

KINGMAN – Mental health and related issues have begun to dominate news cycles and social media platforms with increasing regularity. In response to increasing awareness, the Western Arizona Council of Governments will host a mental health first aid training event from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Mohave County Health Department’s Saguaro Room, 700 W. Beale St.

The training is open to WACOG and anyone interested in learning about mental-health issues like depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance abuse.

“There can be very different symptoms based on the different struggles they are having,” said Tara Lurz, vice president for Mohave County at Southwest Behavioral and Health Services.

One common mental health issue is depression, which can be characterized by being withdrawn, isolated or displaying patterns of hopelessness.

“A lot of times people with depression have a change in their routine, or a lack of interest in things they used to like to do,” Lurz said of those suffering from depression.

More obvious or serious symptoms of depression include an individual saying they don’t want to live anymore.

Anxiety is another challenge associated with mental health, and Lurz said it can be accompanied by physical symptoms as well. Sweaty palms, a racing heart, difficulty breathing, tunnel vision and intense fear from an unknown cause can all result from anxiety.

“There are some pretty significant symptoms there for anxiety,” she said. “Anxiety has more specific situations too. If it’s related to social situations, it would be a social phobia.”

Lurz said substance abuse can result from people self-medicating to help cope with other mental-health disorders or diagnoses.

Opiates, amphetamines and alcohol are all substances frequently abused in Mohave County.

When it comes to getting help for these mental health issues, Lurz said people can seek out treatments from Mohave County health providers or by talking to a primary care provider. There’s also a 24-hour Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority crisis line that can be accessed by calling 877-756-4090.

“Sometimes for family members it’s more a matter of getting information and help for themselves before they can get help for the individuals suffering through those things,” Lurz said of family and friends helping a loved one with mental-health issues.

WACOG said in a press release more than one in five American adults will have mental-health problems in any given year. The training being offered Thursday will provide information on mental-health issues and teach how to help those struggling through those issues.

Space is limited and registration is required. To register, call 928-377-4962.