Did anyone hear about A.L.G.E.E. training program for Mental Health ?

Just heard this Program reading todays WSJ. A.L.G.E.E. is supposed to be First-Aid training enabling anyone to help people with panic attacks, suicidal thoughts and hallucinations. It sounds interesting. The journal was vague about it. Can someone explain ALGEE in details and tell us if it works ? Thank you

Super User Asked on September 22, 2018 in Mental Health.
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I find this question very important, and crucial for all types of people. I’ve been studying up about A.L.G.E.E and a few other  Mental Health First-Aid programs from the National Council for Behavioral Health, and I believe that if all people (even those who are not doctors) were to take the 8 hour course, they would easily be in position to confidently help friends and family experiencing mental break downs, or those getting started on the journey towards a mental illness thereby getting them over to professional help before it’s too late.

For those who are hearing about the acronym for the first time, A.L.G.E.E “a mental health support first-aid technique” stands for:

  • A: Assess for risk of suicide or harm.
  • L: Listen non-judgmentally.
  • G: Give reassurance and information
  • E: Encourage appropriate professional help.
  • E: Encourage self-help and other support strategies.

Learning and knowing the techniques involved goes a long way to make everyone a keeper of another. According to Mental Health First Aid “Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.”

A.L.G.E.E is quite simply and clearly broken down for quick understanding as follows. In order to provide the first-aid help to a friend or co-worker or family member, you may follow these steps:

Assess for Risk of Suicide or harm: This is one of the indications that the person really needs help and whether or if these signs will result into a more chronic mental illness. These are some of the warning Signs:

  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
  • Seeking access to means to hurt or kill oneself
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, or society
  • Appearing agitated or angry
  • Having a dramatic change in mood

Listen non-judgmentally: It takes patience and practiced skill to listen and signal correctly to the patient that you are listening and not judging every word they say. This is very crucial to ensure that an individual feels respected, accepted and well understood. Ensure to:

Use a set of verbal and nonverbal skills such as:

  • open body posture
  • comfortable eye contact, and
  • other strategies to engage in appropriate conversation.

Give reassurance and Information:  When talking to someone you believe may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, approach the conversation with respect and dignity and don’t blame the individual for his or her symptoms. It is important to recognize that mental illnesses and addictions are real, treatable illnesses from which people can and do recover. 

Encourage appropriate professional help: There are many professionals who can offer help when someone is in crisis or may be experiencing the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or addiction.

Types of Professionals

  • Doctors (primary care physicians or psychiatrists)
  • Social workers, counselors, and other mental health professionals
  • Certified peer specialists

Types of Professional Help

  • “Talk” therapies
  • Medication
  • Other professional supports

You may find such help from our Doctors’ and facilities Database or contact the National Suicidal Prevention Line:

Always seek emergency medical help if the person’s life is in immediate danger. If you have reason to believe someone may be actively suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

And lastly;

Encourage self-help and other support strategies: Individuals with mental illness or signs mounting to the same, can contribute to their own recovery and wellness through:

  • Exercise
  • Relaxation and meditation
  • Participating in peer support groups
  • Self-help books based on cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Engaging with family, friends, faith, and other social networks

Understanding and passing on these strategies could save a life. We have so many people in our own circles, families and friends or even ourselves that may be suffering from mental challenges. By mastering A.L.G.E.E, we can make our recovery process a breeze.

I hope this helps someone, and thank you @Olivier for the question. Hoping to hear from others too!!


Regular User Answered on September 24, 2018.
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Thanks Pauline, this is quite elaborate. Has anyone applied this plan before, can anyone give their experience, and if the plan gives them more confidence confronting members with Mental Illnesses, and does it eventually work? Thanks all!

Regular User Answered on September 24, 2018.
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Thank you Pauline for you detailed answer. It is very helpful and now I understand the intention of the program. My other concern is – like Gerald is asking – do we have examples and circumstances where the ALGEE program in working ? Thanks.

Super User Answered on September 24, 2018.
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Great explanation! Thanks Pauline, its simpler to understand now. Any ideas how long this program has been working and how it can effectively be applied today? I think reciting some examples as inquired by the other colleagues could go along to give most of confidence to ensure we take the course and apply this, otherwise, thanks so much for the explanation! (sorry I’m new here, don’t know how it works here but love your time and commitment while answering these questions. Thank you!).

~ Fred.

Regular User Answered on September 28, 2018.
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