Youth Mental Health First Aid program in Coatesville area lauded
Mental health has increasingly become part of the national conversation as one of the major issues facing Americans. Groups and individuals across the country have been working to remove the stigma that has so often been attached to mental health issues, and inform people how to assess mental health concerns and encourage people to seek treatment when they need it.
A celebration and networking breakfast was held at the Courtyard Marriott hotel Wednesday morning to recognize community members who have completed a training course focused on providing mental health first aid.
With the goal of improving the behavioral health status of children and teens in the Coatesville area, the Brandywine Health Foundation (BHF), a non-profit organization based in Coatesville, launched an initiative to administer the Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training program in the summer of 2014.
Learning mental health first aid; Coatesville marks progress since ’14, when nonprofit joined a national suicide-prevention effort.
By Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer Inquirer
Counselors at an after-school homework program in Coates-ville say that in two instances, they heard young people discussing suicide and were able to intervene to prevent tragedies.
They used techniques they had learned recently in a program called Mental Health First Aid.
More than 500,000 people nationwide have completed the training, and over 900 of those are teachers, custodians, cafeteria workers, police officers, high school students, and community members in Chester County.
The National Council for Behavioral Health launched a campaign this month to train one million people in its program. It wants to make the training as common as CPR or routine first aid.
Congress earmarked $15 million in December for Mental Health First Aid.
Tracy Behringer, a mental health first-aid instructor who works for Chester County, said she uses her training daily and it helps with everyday struggles as well as larger crises.
“I tell each class, ‘Little by little, we’re changing the world,’ ” Behringer said. “And I believe that.”