Behavioral Health Services Employees Receive Certifications

ALTOONA – UPMC Altoona Behavioral Health Services employees Chrisy Benzel and Christine Zernick have received three certifications to advance their skills so they may better instruct others in helping people in need of mental health/substance abuse services.

Benzel and Zernick completed the following courses: Mental Health First Aid (General), Public Safety Mental Health First Aid, and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA).

“It is true that the courses have ‘fine-tuned’ our skills to help others,” Zernick said. “But our purpose as instructors is to help participants become better in helping people who are in need.”

Mental Health First Aid is an adult public education program designed to improve participants’ knowledge and modify their attitudes and perceptions about mental health/substance abuse and related issues, including how to respond to people who are experiencing an acute mental health crisis (suicidal thoughts and or behavior, stress reaction, panic attacks, etc.) or are in the early stages of one or more chronic behavioral health problems (depression, anxiety, etc.), which may occur with substance abuse. The program also provides information about common resources and treatment services in the area.

For more information, contact Zernick at 814-381-9897.

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