The Temple College Business and Continuing Education Division is offering three classes this spring for first responders, teachers and others who want to learn how to help members of the community who may be experiencing a mental health crisis or addiction.

Somebody voiced the need for this type of information at a meeting that Gracie Connor, director of the Business and Continuing Education Division, attended last year, said Julie Escamilla, with the Community Education Division.

“We want to create awareness,” she said.

It ties in with the student wellness initiative Temple College is implementing and can be used to inform the community what TC is working toward in regard to helping students in need to access community resources, Escamilla said.

A class on Mental Health Awareness will be offered 8-10 a.m. Jan. 25.

This class will be taught by Christine Simon, a licensed professional counselor and psychology professor at Temple College. Simon will help participants understand the signs and symptoms of mental illness and where to get help.

“This is open to anyone in the community who wants to know more about mental illness,” Simon said.

Reducing the stigma of mental illness is a goal, she said.

“We want to help people with mental illness know where to go to get help,” Simon said.

According to a 2017 report from the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five U.S. adults is living with a mental illness.

“We’ll be going over statistics and the symptoms of mental illness,” she said. “This is all about reducing the stigma. I think it’s improving, but we need to do more.”

Cost for the class is $10. Space is limited, and anyone interested in attending should register by Jan. 23.

A class on Chemical Dependency will be offered 8-10 a.m. March 28. This class will explore the causes of chemical dependency and will offer participants information on resources and services that will enable them to better assist those with chemical dependency.

The class will be taught by Arthur Murphy, a licensed chemical dependency counselor who volunteers at a nonprofit organization that provides free services to veterans and their families. Cost for this class is $20.

In 2017, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that abuse of heroin and prescription opioids claims more lives in the United States each year than vehicle accidents.

A class titled Mental Health First Aid will be offered 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 25. This class will be taught by Maureen Jouett, a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor and executive director of Bring Everyone In The Zone, a nonprofit agency that provides free services to veterans and their families. The fee for this course is $25.

All classes will be in Berry Hall on the Temple College campus in Temple.

“We hope these courses will help reduce the negative stigma connected to mental health, mental illness, substance abuse and chemical dependency in our community,” Conner said.

For information, or to register, call 254-298-8625 or visit