Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare marked the month of May as Mental Health Month with a number of activities designed to raise awareness about the issue in the community. Board members, staff and volunteers gave out information about Mental Health First Aid classes and other programs at the annual Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach, and the County Commission issued a Proclamation in support of May as Mental Health Month in Nassau County. A large banner in downtown Fernandina Beach is also displayed to raise awareness, and the agency has added a special section on the Starting Point website with information about mental health. The next Mental Health First Aid class is scheduled for Friday, May 26, and seats are still available. You can sign up for free at http://www.mhfanassau.com/class-calendar.
The next Adult Mental Health First Aid class will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. on May 26, 2017 at the Fernandina Police Department’s Community Room. The class is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register now.
Taking the Mental Heath First Aid course has provided an important and helpful body of knowledge to hundreds of First Coast residents. We love to hear from our attendees, and wanted to share the latest note from one of our classmates.
Thanks so much, this is the best program for everyone who works or lives with people going through a mental health issue.
If only I had taken this course two years ago. The course showed me how some of my responses were incorrect in dealing with my son, but now I can handle the situation better with the correct response.
I plan to also attend the youth course. These courses are a blessing. You and your partner were awesome!
Registration is now open for the next Mental Health First Aid class scheduled for March 24, 2017. The class will be held from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Fernandina Beach Police Department’s Community Room, 1525 Lime Street, in Fernandina Beach.
There is no cost to attend the class, but registration is required. You can register by contacting Katrina Robinson-Wheeler at 904.415.9350 or online. For online registrations, use promo code WINTER17.
Become One In A Million Mental Health First Aiders
Starting Point Behavioral Health is part of a nationwide effort to train more than one million US residents in Mental Health First Aid. Starting Point began offering the 8-hour certification course in 2014, after two staff members were trained to be instructors. Since then, more than 700 individuals in Northeast Florida have been trained in Mental Health First Aid, including law enforcement officers, teachers, nurses and others who interact with the public regularly.
In just 10 years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the U.S. — half a million Mental Health First Aiders strong and growing every day. In 2016, the National Council for Behavioral Health is making it a priority to train more first aiders than ever before. The vision? One million Mental Health First Aiders in the U.S.
1 in 5 Has Mental Illness
One in five Americans has a mental illness and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect, even among family and friends. While they can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment. All too often, that means those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late.
Just as medical first aid training provides critical help during an emergency until professional medical help arrives, the MHFA training helps individuals to identify and intervene during a mental health crisis or illness. The course teaches the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and addictions. It offers concrete tools and answers key questions like “What can I do?” and “Where can someone find help?” Participants are introduced to local mental health resources, national organizations, support groups, and online tools for mental health and addictions treatment and support.
Mental Health First Aid is Sweeping the Country
Training is going on across the U.S. Here is a state-by-state look at the program:
Mental Health First Aid USA is operated by the National Council for Behavioral Health.
RESOLUTION 2016 – 113
A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PROCLAIMING SEPTEMBER 2016 AS MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID MONTH IN NASSAU COUNTY, FLORIDA.
WHEREAS, progress in our country in enacting the Mental Health First Aid Act of 2015 (S.711/H.R. 1877) and most recently the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act 2016 (H.R. 2646), speaks volumes as to the importance and value of Mental Health First Aid to our community ‘s wellness; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Nassau County will increase their knowledge of signs, symptoms, and risk factors of mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders in both children and adults and increase their confidence and the likelihood to help an individual in distress; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Nassau County can identify multiples types of professional and supportive resources for individuals with a mental illness or substance abuse disorder; and
WHEREAS, our community ‘s wellness is critical to the future success and growth by the implementation of the Mental Health First Aid Program which reduces the social distance created by negative attitudes and perceptions of individuals with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Nassau County have a responsibility to remain persistent in the charge to maintain emotional wellness in our communities by consistently pursuing awareness, by decreasing social distance, by assisting our neighbors, and providing the best care possible for all our citizens.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Board of County
Commissioners of Nassau County, Florida, this 17th day of
August, 2016 that:
- The Board hereby proclaims September 2016 as Mental Health First Aid Month in Nassau County.
- The Board hereby recognizes the efforts of local providers and professionals who provide treatment services, prevention, and support in Nassau County.
- The Board encourages the citizens of Nassau County to become familiar with the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders and encourage someone in distress to seek help.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS NASSAU COUNTY, FLORIDA
ATTEST AS TO CHAIRMAN ‘S SIGNATURE:
WALTER J . BATRIGHT
Approved as to form by the Nassau County Attorney
Registration is now open for a Youth Mental Health First Aid class offered by Starting Point Behavioral Healthcare on September 10. The class will be held from 9 am until 4:30 pm at the MLK Recreation Center Annex, 1200 Elm Street in Fernandina Beach, FL. The class is sponsored by Heart for the Harvest Ministries and is open to the public. The class is free but registration is required at MHFANassau.com.
Youth Mental Health First Aid trains individuals to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness. It is an eight-hour training certification course that teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments.
Like First Aid or CPR training, the Mental Health First Aid program teaches individuals skills they can use to help someone in a crisis and know how to direct them to professional intervention or care. Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based program now available across the U.S. and around the world.
How Mental Health First Aid Can Be The Answer.
Many of us can sense when something isn’t quite right, but the fear of being intrusive, overstepping our bounds or saying the wrong thing can prevent us from acting. So, far too often, we do nothing to help.
Read more at bp magazine.