HENDERSON, Ky. — Henderson County Schools is pleased to add 25 new instructors from the state of Kentucky to the Mental Health First Aid™ (MHFA) team in a training held April 27-May 1, 2015 in Henderson.     

“We are thrilled to bring Mental Health First Aid™ training to Henderson for our identified trainers and host participants from other areas of the state that also received the federal “Now Is the Time – Project AWARE” grant,” says Steve Steiner.   “Most people know how to recognize and appropriately react to medical emergencies, but there is little knowledge in the general public about what to do in a mental health crisis.”  

Mental Health First Aid™ is an 8-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.  The new instructors will be certified to teach the 8-hour program to a variety of audiences, ranging from school personnel, first responders (police, fire, and ambulance), social services, juvenile justice and court-workers.  The training will also be open to parents and other citizens wishing to know more about helping others with mental health problems.    The instructor certification training was conducted by the National Council for Behavioral Health, who manages the program across the U.S. along with the states of Maryland and Missouri.   

“We’re enthused to welcome Henderson County Schools as a partner in extending mental health first aid across the country,” says Linda Rosenberg, MSW, president and CEO of the National Council.   “We anticipate the new instructors will have a great impact on the mental health communities throughout Kentucky and will be key players in improving mental health literacy nationwide.” 

The new instructors join more than 3,700 U.S. instructors already certified by MHFA-USA as instructors in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.  Instructors come from a variety of backgrounds, including behavioral healthcare, law enforcement and public safety, universities, faith communities, and primary care.   

Included on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices, studies show that training in Mental Health

First Aid™ builds confidence in helping an individual experiencing a mental health challenge, reduces negative or distancing attitudes towards individuals with mental illnesses, and increases mental health literacy – being able to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.   

The training for Henderson County is made possible by grant funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).   

Mental Health First Aid™ USA is a collaboration between the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. 

The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. Together with our 2,000 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — the more than eight million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council pioneered Mental Health First Aid™ in the U.S. and has trained nearly 100,000 individuals to connect youth and adults in need to mental health and addictions care in their communities. 

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