Pima Community College will be offering free mental health training to the public.

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour course that teaches people how to help someone in crisis.

PCC officials said the course is designed to help people identify, understand and respond to those with signs of mental illness or substance abuse disorders.

This is the first time the college will offer such training to the public. More than 200 PCC employees have taken the training.

People can choose between two sessions at the end of the month, and classes are limited to 40 participants each.

College officials said the free training is part of a community-wide series of initiatives formed after the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting.