SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN) — How often do you experience stress, depression, or the general feeling that the world is closing in on you? If you are feeling all of this, you are not alone.
Cochise College now offers innovative training in behavioral health.
Behavioral health affects just about everything in your life. Cochise College has a program that uses technology and even acts to help prepare people for this field.
On a hospital bed, a model says: “The weather is really bad. I have just lost a loved one in my family.
A nurse asks: “Do you feel like hurting yourself or others?”
“No, I just want to find a dark corner and just cry,” he replies.
Cochise College offers a wide range of medical education in the knowledge that there is a behavioral health component to any medical case – and those providing basic bedside care have the most contact and the best opportunity to assess how someone is feeling not only physically, but psychologically.
Program graduates won’t do direct counseling so much as sharing what they hear with other providers so they can adjust treatment.
The same manikins that simulate a patient’s vital signs can simulate behavioral health issues with the help of instructors in a nearby control room. For the live training, a retired nurse volunteers to play the role of a person with severe behavioral issues.
Dean of Nursing and Paramedic Bethany Hill once said she mistook the volunteer for someone who needed behavioral help.
“She’s very convincing,” Hill explained. “She sometimes hides liquor bottles. She’ll walk in with stuffed mice coming out of her hair.
There is such a need for behavioral skills that Cochise College was awarded a grant from the Legacy Foundation of Southern Arizona. This grant makes the 16-week course free for the next three years.
Bethany Hill says graduates can expect to earn $18 or $19 an hour. And the program isn’t just for healthcare professionals.
First responders like police and firefighters can learn behavioral health techniques to apply to troubled people they encounter.
“It also has many de-escalation and crisis management techniques so that our first responders can handle a behavioral health emergency safely, safe for them and safe for the person in crisis.”
And Hill says that with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for behavioral health training continues to grow.
Please see the Cochise College Behavioral Health Training Program for more information.
Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With over 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered over 40 space shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig via email [email protected] or by connecting to Facebook and Twitter.