South Shore Mental Health announced that three of its clinicians are newly certified to teach Mental Health First Aid within the community. Designed to provide an understanding of various mental illnesses and how to recognize someone in distress, the program outlines an action plan for reaching out, offering comfort, and knowing where to turn for help, if needed. Manager of Training and Staff Development Kathleen Bambrick; Manager of Community Support Programs Mary Fielding; and Clinical Staff Responder Melissa Bickler recently completed the week-long instructor certification process and have begun teaching both the adult and youth Mental Health First Aid USA™ curriculums.
“I’m pleased that our organization is part of a world-wide effort to increase the number of mental health first aid responders in the communities where we live, work, and play,” said Harry Shulman, SSMH President and CEO. “It’s estimated that one in five Americans will face a mental health issue in any given year. That said, the possibility of encountering someone in distress is very real, and with the right knowledge, responding appropriately can be natural. In many ways, a mental health first aid situation is not unlike a medical first aid situation. With the right tools in our kit, any one of us can step in.”
Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. In 2008, Mental Health First Aid USA worked with the Australian program founders, Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm, to adapt Mental Health First Aid for the U.S. The U.S. organization ensures the quality and standardization of the program nationwide, certifies instructors to teach Mental Health First Aid in local communities, and supports program growth. To find a Mental Health First Aid class near you, or learn more about instructor certification, visit http://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/about/.
Since 1926, South Shore Mental Health has been building hope and changing lives for children born with developmental disabilities, and children, teens, and adults living with mental illness. Today, we have more than 700 employees based in Quincy, Marshfield, Plymouth, and Wareham, and our non-profit early intervention and mental health treatment and recovery programs reach 16,000 people from Boston to Cape Cod each year.