Lane County helps train North Bend Medical center staff on mental health in older adults


    Lane County Behavioral Health staff from the Older Adult Mental Health program trained staff at North Bend Medical Center on Thursday.

    COOS BAY, Ore. - Lane County Behavioral Health staff from the Older Adult Mental Health program trained staff at North Bend Medical Center on Thursday.

    Chris Eilers is a behavioral health specialist, teaching mental health first aid for workforce development.

    "One of the goals of mental health first aid is to combat the stigma around mental health, the stigma around aging and bring mental health into the field of health care and recognize that a lot of disabilities that we see are caused by mental health conditions," Eilers said.

    Brandon Saada, a registered nurse, took part in the training.

    "There's always something you can learn, there's always something you didn't know and something you can be more aware of. Just simply being a support system could be the difference between someone ending their life and not ending their life," Saada said.

    He said has a psychology degree and plans to continue that education.

    "The action plan is to access whether there is a risk of someone harming themselves or other people, the second is to listen, the third is to give them information and reassurance, the next step is to encourage them to access mental health and the last step is to encourage them to access self help," Eilers said.

    He said treatment has benefited by integrating behavioral health in healthcare.

    Saada said the idea has remained the same: to identify, treat, and prevent.

    For mental health first aid certification, you can contact the Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative. The south central coast specialist is Lualhati Anderson, lualhati.Anderson@co.Lane.Or.Us or go to mentalhealthfirstaid.org or email info@mentalhealthfirstaid.org to find a course or contact and instructor near you.

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