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CPD ‘Live’ Department

The Mental Health First Aid course took place August 11 and 12, 2017 in the Training Room of Upstate AHEC in Greenville, South Carolina. Twenty healthcare professionals attended the course.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course designed to give participants key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as CPR training helps a layperson without medical training assist an individual experiencing a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid helps participants know that mental illnesses are real, common and treatable and that it is OK to seek help. Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of this program to improve knowledge of mental disorders and substance use, remove fear and misunderstanding, and enable those trained to offer concrete assistance.


Participant comments:

“The course manual was valuable during the sessions and will be very resourceful in my practice. Also, I purchased an extra manual to share. The instructor Kathy Chamblee’s expertise in this subject was evidenced by both didactic and experiential methods of teaching. I recommend this course be offered at all AHEC campuses and in community colleges, in human services, nursing and psychology courses. It would be a good prerequisite for all First Responders, too! (Train the Trainer course of the manual would facilitate state-wide training of professionals to teach in their communities in the 46 SC counties.)”

“Great course, would recommend to anyone! I learned a lot.”
Rebecca Rogers, PHR, SHRM-CP, a Human Resources professional at Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, attended the course and stated that this course helped her assist her employees by empowering her to identify issues, and provided tools to have a conversation.

Upstate Health Career Program Students Participate in Simulation Lab

Upstate AHEC Health Careers Academy (HCA) partnered with the University Center of Greenville for a simulation lab activity on March 5. High school students from the region took part in the activity as part of the 2014-2015 Upstate AHEC Health Careers Academy.

Kim Blankenship, RN, Mary Black School of Nursing Sim Lab Manager, facilitated the lab activity, which enabled HCA students to participate in simulation experiences.  The partnership with the University Center gives students an opportunity to work with faculty, staff, health professionals and students to receive relevant up-to-date information, knowledge, and skills that are being disseminated and practiced in post-secondary classrooms and clinical settings.  Simulation affords students the opportunity to be exposed to reality-based scenarios that will be a part of their healthcare practice in the future and gives them a chance to practice physical assessment skills.

Ashleigh Godby, an 11th grade student at Riverside High School, said that the lab experience was “very fascinating, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to get a real look into the hands on aspect of medicine. Even learning the basics gave me an assurance of my interest in medicine. I’d recommend this kind of lab to anyone who has any sort of interested in a career in medicine.”

image1-1Tai Marie Dennis, an 11th grade student at Woodmont High School, also the lab experience, “I enjoyed the lab. It made me want to go into nursing even more.”

Students participated in an overview of vital signs and IV therapy. In the process, they learned about improving communication, cultivating nursing skills, understanding classroom material, developing critical thinking and facilitating teamwork.

For more information about the Health Careers Academy or simulation activity, please contact the Upstate AHEC Health Careers Program Coordinator Nita Donald at

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