To the Editor:

We are writing this letter to convince as many people as possible to take the mental health first-aid course offered at the Post 53 Headquarters on Ledge Road on April 3 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We took the nationally certified course last September and are very glad we did. You will come to understand that much of what you thought about mental illness is antiquated and unfounded.

In an interactive, multi-disciplined approach, you will be brought up to date on what constitutes mental illness, how pervasive but hidden it is in our own communities, and what one person, willing to listen non judgmentally, can do to help. A step-by-step process for a variety of scenarios is illustrated in the 130-page booklet each participant receives and each chapter ends with a list of resources for the disorder described in the preceding pages.

You will learn the latest teen slang and what it means; old myths will be voided; the statistics on mental illness in the U.S. will astound you and the way you can aid a friend experiencing mental distress will encourage you to help confidently.

You will be in a classroom with a well-qualified and friendly instructor, people and professionals you know and some you don't know who work in area hospitals, schools and rehab centers from our area. Please join with them, and us, in forming a knowledgeable front against what the World Health Organization calls "the biggest health problem in North America, ahead of cardiovascular disease and cancer."

The cost for the course is $100. For more information, contact Dawn Roy at 203-331-7458 or LadyRoy@earthlink.net.

Mental health education and advocacy are a main initiative of the Connecticut League of Women Voters and as a local league, we are proud to support these efforts.

Nina Miller, Dot Kelly and

Laurie Williamson and

The Darien League of Women Voters members

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