In an effort to help the public identify, understand and respond to people who may be experiencing a mental health emergency, the Cheyenne Police Department is hosting a free Mental Health First Aid class on Dec. 15.

"For the most part people know to call 911 if certain things are happening -- if somebody's injured or somebody's not breathing or if somebody has been robbed," said Officer Kevin Malatesta. "In mental health emergencies it can be a little bit more confusing."

"This class is designed to give people some basic insight into resolving or beginning to resolve the problems they may encounter when somebody's going through that mental health crisis," he added.

The eight-hour class is being taught by Peak Wellness Center and is limited to 30 people. Those interested in attending should call Alan Ness at (307) 634-9653 ext. 1134.

"We're not training people to be mental health professionals," said Malatesta. "But this would be a great class for parents of somebody who may be developmentally disabled or has a mental health illness, spouses (and) people who are close to the affected folks who may need to render aid to them, but just aren't quite sure what to do."