BRAZOS COUNTY, TX — About one in five people live with mental illness.
Yet, most people aren't sure how to react when a person is dealing with mental illness.
However, odds are, a person in your life likely lives with one too, whether you pick up on it or not.
"Stigma is the big wall that's up, that nobody wants to talk about, because, if I tell you that I have bipolar, you're going to think I'm crazy and you won't want to be my friend," Jody Schulz, outreach coordinator, MHMRA Brazos Valley said.
Schulz, who is also a volunteer for NAMI Brazos Valley, is helping people break the stigma through the Mental Health First Aid Workshop
"People understand that it's an illness. It's about biological, physiological things going on in the body and it's not about bad behavior or bad choices or bad parenting," Jody Schulz, outreach coordinator, MHMRA Brazos Valley, Schulz said.
The six-hour course, which can be in person or virtual, teaches people how to be the first responder to a mental health situation. Participants learn how to identify signs for different mental illnesses and properly respond to a person dealing with them.
"It's important to begin to recognize that, to kind of be that person, that maybe steps in to open the door for them, to get the help that they need," Diane Davis, co-minister, Texas Celebrate Recovery said.
Brazos Valley of Texas Celebrate Recovery hosted the workshop on Saturday, seeing the success it's had in the past.
"I got a phone call from one of the participants saying, 'Oh my gosh. You're not going to believe what happened last night. I was faced with this situation and I knew what to do," Davis said.
Showing how just knowing the signs, can make a world of difference.
Workshops can focus on different demographics, ranging from age groups to fields of work.
This past Mental Health First Aid Workshop focused on teaching adults how to deal with teens between the ages of 12 to 18, who struggle with their mental health.
If you'd like to participate, the workshops are held on the last Saturdays of every month.