Lady Gaga's foundation brings 'Mental Health First Aid' to Utah

It was a concert young and old were waiting for: Lady Gaga was in town Thursday night.But before the night's e...

Posted: Dec 16, 2017 9:01 AM
Updated: Dec 16, 2017 9:01 AM

It was a concert young and old were waiting for: Lady Gaga was in town Thursday night.

But before the night's entertainment, the music powerhouse's Born This Way Foundation teamed up with Mental Health First Aid to provide two daylong trainings in Utah. Here, the purpose is to teach anyone who will listen that it's okay to talk about mental health struggles.

"We're not ashamed," said Kim Gardner, suicide prevention director with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who was the instructor at the training Thursday. "We recognize that brains can get sick just like any other organ in the body and they can get better."

The eight-hour trainings have been described as "CPR for the mind." Participants learn to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental stress, similar to how they would respond to someone experiencing a health crisis. Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation is hoping to train 150,000 people during her world tour.

Lady Gaga has spoken out about her struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. Earlier this year, she partnered with Prince William to encourage people to be more open about mental health issues.

As part of its Healthy Mind Matters initiative, KSL set up a booth at the Lady Gaga concert at the Vivint Smart Home Arena with the National Alliance on Mental Health and The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in hopes of communicating the need for people to reach out.

"The message is talk to your friends, talk to your parents, talk to your teachers. Talk to other trusted adults who might help when it seems hopeless and helpless," Gardner said.

Visit these websites for more information on the Born this Way Foundation or Mental Health First Aid.

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