Monroe Health Center recently hosted three Mental Health First Aid training sessions. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues. Certified MHFA instructors, pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Bailey, D.O., FAAP, and Alicia Walker, Licensed Psychologist, facilitated the sessions that taught how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges experienced by our youth.
The course covers common signs and symptoms of mental health including: Challenges in this age group, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), behavior disorders, and psychotic symptoms; Common signs and symptoms of substance use challenges; How to interact with a child or adolescent in crisis; How to connect the youth with help; and expanded content on trauma, substance-use, self-care and the impact of social media and bullying. The course is relevant to any adults who interact with youth such as educators, school staff and administrators, coaches, camp counselors, youth group leaders, members of faith communities, first responders, health and human services workers, medical professionals, parents, and caring citizens. This program can be applied to a range of adult learning styles and presentations can be tailored to a wide range of audiences. The course includes population-focused information and follows a tested core model.
Dr. Jennifer Bailey, D.O., FAAP, stated, “As a pediatrician and certified MHFA instructor, I am excited to have the opportunity to build mental health literacy and be an advocate to reduce negative attitudes about mental illnesses among youth. Those who complete the course will leave with tools to assess risk, offer encouragement, and apply support strategies to various situations.”
Monroe Health Center plans to have additional opportunities for this dynamic program in the future. The training session involves brief 10-20 minutes of class preparation in advance of the in-person session which typically lasts about 7 hours and includes the option of a weekday or Saturday session. If you or members of your organization would be interested in attending a future MHFA training session or would like more information about this program, please contact Brandy Lester at 304-772-3064 x124 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.