Mental Health First Aid
South Shore Mental Health is seeking funding to implement the evidence-based, public education program called Mental Health First Aid, an internationally recognized program aimed at nonprofessional audiences that seeks to reduce social distance, increase help-seeking and helping behaviors, and provide strategies to assist individuals with behavioral health conditions.
Individuals who suffer from mental health and/or substance use disorders face multiple barriers to receiving proper care and treatment. Along with a behavioral healthcare system that is difficult to navigate, individuals also face stigma and discrimination from a general population that misunderstands and mistreats people who suffer from mental health and/or substance use disorders.
In his report “Now Is the Time: The President’s Plan to Protect our Children and our Communities by Reducing Gun Violence,” President Obama calls for Mental Health First Aid training to help teachers and staff recognize the signs of mental health disorders in young people and find them appropriate care.
The Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013 (S. 153/H.R. 274) authorizes $20 million in grants to fund Mental Health First Aid training programs around the country. Participants would be trained in:
Training programs under this demonstration project would be offered to emergency services personnel, police officers, teachers/school administrators, primary care professionals, students, and others with the goal of improving Americans’ mental health, reducing stigma around mental illness, and helping people who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm and referring them to appropriate treatment. Studies have shown that Mental Health First Aid successfully increases help provided to others, increase guidance to professional help, and improves concordance with health professionals about treatment.
The Mental Health First Aid Act (S. 153/H.R. 274) was introduced in the House by Congressman Ron Barber (D-AZ) and in the Senate by Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) with 9 bipartisan cosponsors. I urge you to contact your Members of Congress to co-sponsor this important legislation.
Harry Shulman, LICSW
South Shore Mental Health
The Association for Behavioral Healthcare (ABH), a statewide organization representing over 80 community-based behavioral healthcare provider organizations, announced its 2013 Recognition Awards recipients at its Salute to Excellence event today. Each year, ABH recognizes human service employees, young people, consumer and family advocates and others who have made outstanding contributions to the field of mental health and addiction treatment. South Shore Mental Health was honored with the Excellence in Best Practices award for its Discovery Day Treatment Program.
Discovery Day Treatment is a Day Treatment Program that provides services for individuals living with chronic mental illness. The treatment team is comprised of social workers, mental health counselors, expressive therapists, and peers. The Program has evolved over the years to provide a variety of innovative group programming including DBT skills groups, art therapy groups, computer networking training, and extended hours with new recreational facilities. Congratulations on a job well done!
Discovery Community Members decorated a tree of Peace and Hope in honor of the Victims and Heroes of the Boston Marathon Bombings. Each circle represents a token of our love and support for Boston.