Community members get teen mental health training in Tishomingo

TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) - It may be easy to tell when a person is having a heart attack or choking and get them the proper medical attention, but knowing how to respond to a mental health crisis is not as easy. However, that is what several Texomans learned to do at a mental health first aid training in Tishomingo on Wednesday.

Randy Hatton works with youth at his church in Ada and said he has struggled with mental health in the past and overcome drug addiction.

"I want to do preventative treatment to help kids before they start having problems, to help kids before they go down the same path that I went down," Hatton said.

More than 30 community members took part in the training hosted by INCA-RSVP and Mental Health First Aid, funded from a three year federal grant.

Amy Ross, regional mental health awareness training coordinator, says the goal of the grant is training 750 people in south central Oklahoma by 2021.

"The main goal of the grant is to increase awareness when it comes to mental health issues, increase literacy," Ross said. "We provide resources so that way people know where to go to get help or to help direct someone."

The course covered the prevalence of mental health disorders and typical adolescent development versus signs of a developing disorder.

"Sometimes it can be difficult to tell what's typical because mood swings are typical but what could also make it a mental health illness," Ross said.

Typical adolescent behaviors can be withdrawing from family to spend more time with friends and moving from childhood to teen interests.

Potential warning signs can be withdraw from all social activity and losing interest in favorite activities and not replacing interests.

Organizers said they will have more of the free training sponsored by grants until at least Sept. 2021 and hope to expand to other Texoma counties and organizations.