President and Founder Tristaca added more tools to the NERDS RULE INC. Suicide Prevention Programs with Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First Aid has the potential to address these disparities in rural communities by increasing mental health literacy (i.e., knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management, or prevention) among key community members – creating a stronger, more prepared network of support for individuals living in rural areas.
Rural Mental Health First Aid is a way to build community level capacity to identify mental health and substance abuse issues early and for rural residents to increase their confidence to intervene and refer people to the resources that do exist. Rural communities have a long history of being innovative and taking responsibility. Mental Health First Aid is a way to increase the level of baseline knowledge about mental health and substance abuse issues and to decrease the negative perceptions often associated with these issues.The program also teaches the common risk factors and warning signs of specific types of illnesses such as anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder, eating disorder, and schizophrenia.