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PCC, CPSA providing Mental Health First Aid training
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PCC, CPSA providing Mental Health First Aid training

Pima Community College and the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona will offer free training in how to help someone with a mental health problem later this month.

The eight-hour Mental Health First Aid course helps people to identify, understand and respond to those with signs of mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders.

About 250 Pima employees have attended the training sessions, college spokesman C.J. Karamargin said. This is the first time PCC has offered the classes to the public.

PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert said the courses are a way to "advance the dialogue regarding a vitally important issue."

The public can choose between two training schedules. The first training session will be in Room J-G05 of the PCC West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Rd., Jan. 21 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The second will take place over two days, on Jan. 27 and 28, from 8 a.m.-noon each day, in Room A109-112 of the Community Campus, 401 N. Bonita Ave.

"The free training offered by PCC is part of a community-wide series of initiatives to move forward from the tragic events of Jan. 8, 2011," Karamargin said in a news release.

That day, a young man who had been expelled from the college because of his bizarre behavior opened fire at a constituent meeting held by then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffods, killing six and wounding 13 others, including the congresswoman. Jared Lee Loughner pleaded guilty and was sentenced in November 2012 to seven consecutive life terms, plus 140 years in prison.

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