To those ignorant about mental disorders: a dose of reality

Many people, sadly, don't understand depression. My boyfriend is taking a class at Oakland Community College. He told me that the students, in an off-topic debate, started talking about depression medication.

One uninformed student said he wouldn't trust anyone on depression medication because, as with any medication, it alters the brain. Thankfully, other students stood up to him — saying that wasn't right. If I were there, I know what I would have asked him — do you also don't trust people who are taking Advil, aspirin, NyQuil, diabetes medication, etc.? In the same way, doesn't depression medication help reduce pain and lower symptoms of a disorder? So how is it any different?

It's sad that many people don't understand mental disorders as much as physical disorders, and I think people could use a big dose of reality.

That's why I think it's great what the Beaumont Health System with Common Ground is doing. According to an article in The Oakland Press by reporter Jerry Wolffe, they have teamed up to sponsor Mental Health First Aid, an internationally recognized training program designed to equip lay-people — non-mental health professionals — with the tools to recognize and respond to people who may be in a mental health crisis, and connect them to the appropriate care.

I think this is great. After all, health care professionals are required to be trained in CPR. Isn't this just as important.  In Mental Health First Aid, trainees will learn how to respond in a mental health crisis and symptoms of a mental health disorder. The training is open to educators, school administrators, human resource professionals, the faith communities, policy makers, primary health care providers, first responders, police and fire personnel, security personnel, family members or caring community residents.

The two-day training will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 14 and May 21 at Beaumont Hospital, located at 44201 Dequindre Road in Troy. The $75 fee includes registration, a workbook, snacks and lunch. To register, call or email Joan Roberts at 248-451-3733 or

Read original story Hospital, Common Ground join forces to aid mentally ill.

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