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Mental Health First Aid


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A vital guide to recognizing and handling mental health emergencies.

About the Author

Nick Benas, U.S.M.C., is a former United States Marine Sergeant and Iraqi Combat Veteran. Nick is the Director of Business Operations for Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare, a private non-profit mental health agency, located on the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon. He is also a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, by the National Council of Mental Health, teaching Adults, Youth and Veteran modules. He travels around the United States training individuals on how to recognize a developing mental illness and how to prevent someone from slipping into a crisis. He has been featured by more than 50 Major media outlets for his business success and entrepreneurship, including Entrepreneur Magazine, Men's Health, ABC, FOX, ESPN, and CNBC.


"I spent two years suffering in silence from debilitating anxiety. I would have given anything for a copy of Mental Health Emergencies. These illnesses affect every single person on the planet-whether it's you, your parents, your best friend, or your co-workers. Read it, and make this world a better place."
-Charlie Hoehn, author of Play It Away: A Workaholic's Cure for Anxiety

"Nick Benas explains such simple and effective strategies to aid, assist, and provide the necessary resources for those struggling with mental health and substance use."
-Brian Cuban, best-selling author of Shattered Image: My Triumph over Body Dysmorphic Disorder

"If we are going to truly tackle stigma and the barriers millions of Americans face when it comes to getting access to treatment, we need to start by equipping those on the front lines with the skills to recognize mental illness and direct people to the help they deserve. Nick Benas' book couldn't come at a better time as those of us involved in this cause search for new partners in the fight for better mental health in this country."
-Connecticut State Representative Sean Scanlon

"I have been supporting children between the ages of 9-12 for the past 12 years as a school counselor. Not only have I experienced years of anxiety growing up, I see it impacting the lives of our youth. Nick Benas' book will be a powerful tool for not only the children but for professional development."
-Paul Canestri, Middle School Counselor, Guilford, CT

"The journey of discovery and understanding mental health and wellness allows a person to retain a strong sense of self and motivation to pursue goals clearly. Gaining insight and resiliency from adversity in mental health allows each individual to be open and alive to the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential."
-Michele Hart, Clinician, LCSW

"As a Pastor and a Chaplain in the L.A. County Jails, this timely book is an indispensable tool for me to better understand and assist these friends. I hope it will inspire more to reach out to ones who desperately need to know there is someone who cares about them."
-Chaplain Martin Wilson, Pastor of the Beverly Hills Persian Church

"Mental illness and military veterans have gone through several changes within the past decade and a half. Today you see many veterans and veteran organizations not only speaking out in support of treatment for mental illness, but the civilian world as well. Veterans are no longer feeling as stigmatized by mental illness, but we still have a long way to go and this book will help."
-Matt Bloom, LSW, Combat Veteran SGT USMC

"That social workers are employed in more and more libraries is evidence of the growing mental health crisis in our country. Mental Health Emergencies is a much needed resource for those of us without the luxury of a social worker on staff. Don't go to work without it!"
-Anne Odom, Senior Library Assistant and Mediator

"When most people think of emergencies, they immediately think of physical ailments. But the idea that all of us can be prepared to offer help for mental health emergencies is both poignant and eye-opening. This book offers convenient heuristics that empower the reader to assist friends and loved ones when they need it most, while also surfacing the critical harbingers that signify when first aid may not be enough."
-Matt Sitomer, VP, Group Account Director, VaynerMedia

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