‘Mental Health First Aid’ training May 18

Carrier to Offer ‘Mental Health First Aid’ Training May 18

Jacqueline Bienenstock, DNP, RN-BC, and director of the psychiatric acute care unit at Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic, will present “Mental Health First Aid” – the five steps to saving a person in crisis – on Saturday, May 18, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Carrier’s Belle Mead campus.

Cost is $25.

Bienenstock, who knows the value of compassion in a crisis, teaches certified Mental Health First Aid Training classes at Carrier. “These classes teach how to recognize signs and symptoms, and what to say,” she says, “because not knowing this can be very uncomfortable. The person having the crisis is at their lowest point. You want to do everything you can to help them.”

The first aid course teaches attendees a five-step approach to contain a crisis until professional care can be reached. Jackie notes, “In the medical field we talk about CPR saving people’s lives; in the psychiatric field and the addiction world, mental health first aid is equal to CPR.”

“These classes teach how to recognize signs and symptoms, and how to intervene.”

The five steps for mental health first aid are:

A – Assess for risk of suicide or harm
L – Listen non-judgmentally
G – Give reassurance and information
E – Encourage appropriate professional help
E – Encourage self-help and other support strategies.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness or addiction, visit our Mental Illness & Addition Guide. For a list of support groups and emergency hotlines visit

About Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic

Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic is a nonprofit Central Jersey behavioral health care provider, specializing in psychiatric and addiction treatment. Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic includes an inpatient psychiatric hospital, detoxification and rehabilitation centeradolescent and teen residential facility, and a fully accredited middle and high school for students classified emotionally disturbed. For more information about Hackensack Meridian Health Carrier Clinic and its services contact us through our website or call 1-800-933-3579.

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Phil Hartman
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