Libraries in San Mateo County will soon offer training to the public on how to identify and respond to mental health crises.

The free mental health first aid trainings will be offered at libraries in Millbrae, Belmont, Half Moon Bay and San Carlos. Training sessions are eight hours and held on weekends, split into four-hour training sessions over two days. Participants will learn how to identify common mental health or substance abuse-related crises.

According to a library news release, over 130 San Mateo County library employees have received training in mental health first aid. Each session will be led by three staff members.

“Mental health challenges have broadly impacted our communities; many of us know someone personally who has struggled. It is critically important for us all to learn easy tools to recognize someone in mental distress, know what to say, and how to put them in touch with resources,” said county Library Governing Board chair and San Carlos City Councilmember Sara McDowell.

Registration for the first session at Millbrae Library on Aug. 19-20 at the Millbrae Library is closed, but those interested in the training can sign up for a waitlist. Future sessions will be held at 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 4-5 in Belmont, Feb. 24-25 at Half Moon Bay, and April 27-28 at San Carlos Library.

More information and registration details for the training sessions can be found online.

Spencer Otte recently graduated from Cal Sate Fullerton, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. At Fullerton, he was the news editor and editor-in-chief of The Daily Titan and covered the 2022 midterm elections, the 2021 Orange County Oil Spill and President Biden’s visit to Irvine. This summer, Spencer was selected to be an editing intern through the Dow Jones News Fund.