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CANCELLED: Faculty Member to Co-Instruct Mental Health Literacy Training for Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department

Associate Professor Amy Hedman to co-instruct training in four May sessions.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 5-13-2016


Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato faculty member Amy S. Hedman, an associate professor in the University’s Department of Health Science, will be co-instructing a Mental Health First Aid program—an eight-hour training certification program—that will be provided to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department deputies and jail staff during May. Representatives from other community law enforcement departments have also been invited to attend the training.

Hedman and Michael Hruby, an employee of the Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic, will offer four training sessions (May 17, 18, 24 and 25) to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department. During each session, participants will be trained to improve mental health literacy—helping them identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.

The eight-hour Mental Health First Aid program teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for an individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and provides an overview of common treatments.

“We are thrilled to bring Mental Health First Aid to our agency,” said Blue Earth County Sheriff Brad Peterson. “This important educational effort goes a lot further than emergency intervention; it will really help our staff understand the shroud of fear and misjudgment facing individuals and families who experience mental illnesses and addiction. It will help rid associated stigma, build situational assessment skills, and move more and more people toward treatment and recovery.”

Hedman and Hruby were certified by the National Council for Behavioral Health to provide the Mental Health First Aid program through instructor certification courses. Funding for Hedman to become instructor certified was provided through a Minnesota State Mankato faculty improvement grant and the Glen Taylor Institute for Family and Society.

For more information on the training or to plan a Mental Health First Aid training, please contact Amy Hedman by phone at 507-389-5382 or by email at

At Minnesota State Mankato, Hedman is the coordinator of both the Undergraduate Community Health Education Program and Community Health Internship Program at Minnesota State Mankato. She also serves on the Madelia Community Based Collaborative and Mental Health Task Force. Hedman earned a doctorate degree in health education from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in community health education from Minnesota State Mankato.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Health Science is part of the University’s College of Allied Health and Nursing.

“We welcome (Minnesota State Mankato) involvement and enthusiasm in the Mental Health First Aid community,” says Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, the organization that brought Mental Health First Aid to the United States in 2008. “We know they will have a great impact on the mental health communities throughout Mankato, and will be key players in improving mental health literacy nationwide.”

The Mental Health First Aid program training coincides with Mental Health Month, which has been observed in May in the United States since 1949 via Mental Health America.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,193 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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