World Mental Health Day – Psychological First Aid

Early warning signs can alert us long before a situation becomes a crisis. We look to experts and their tools like seismologists’ Richter scale readings to warn us of impending earthquakes or meteorologists’ weather satellites and radar to alert us to storms or heat waves. Mental health crises can also have early warning signs to its experts. We are most familiar with our own physical and emotional self. We can use ‘tools’ of health and well-being to monitor our status and that of others. It can be difficult at times to detect or acknowledge our own emotional issues. That’s when we can look to our close family, friends, co-workers and health care professionals. They each have a sense of our ‘normal’ and with the right tools can become aware of any early warning signs.  Early intervention in mental health issues provides better opportunity for successful intervention, for reduced intensity and for higher levels of recovery. What are the early warning signs? Most of the signs focus on changes. Changes from the person’s normal behavior, mood, reactions or routines can be alerts to some level of emotional distress. What can you do? The first step is to reach out-to seek help if you become aware of changes in yourself or to express concern and offer support if you see changes of concern in someone else.

Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Medicine values patients at its core. Our curriculum includes strong attention to patients’ well-being, the mind body interaction and the interplay between psychological and physical wellness. Our graduates will be alert to early warning signs and have the tools to address or avert a potential crisis of emotional well-being.

Judy Rosenthal, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
Roseman University of Health Sciences
College of Medicine