Posted by: Kallie Sulanke  | Jun/10/2020

Mental Health First Aid Training to be Offered to all Delaware County Schools

The Community Foundation in collaboration with Ball Brothers Foundation has awarded grants to all Delaware County Schools for the purpose of funding Mental Health First Aid training for educators. In partnership with Meridian Health Services and Project Leadership, the goal is to provide training to 175 teachers and other school personnel during the pilot program. This evidence-based program will help equip educators with tools and skills to support youth in our community as we recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training USA is a public education program that introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. The purpose of this training is not to diagnose mental illness or to provide therapy or counseling. Instead, educators will learn how to support youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or emotional crisis; students in need of additional help can then be connected with school counselors and other outside services. The program focuses on a five-step action plan that includes assessing the risk for harm, listening, providing reassurance, encouraging professional help, and encouraging self-help strategies. Youth Mental Health First Aid Training is especially attractive to school counselors who are concerned about a rise in trauma, anxiety, and depression following mandatory quarantine and isolation due to the pandemic.

Meridian Health Services will facilitate training sessions with certified trainers. Project Leadership, which is currently developing a transition plan for the county related to social-emotional learning as part of its work with the Comprehensive Counseling Coalition, will encourage participation and include Youth Mental Health First Aid Training as an important component of the transition plan.

The Community Foundation and Ball Brothers Foundation will provide the funding necessary for the cost of training to all schools across the county serving grades K-12. The number of participants per school building varies based on the school population. All schools will have the opportunity to send at least two educators. Training will begin in July.

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About The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County - The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, Inc. encourages philanthropy by managing a permanent community endowment built by donations from individuals, businesses, and corporations. Using earnings on the endowment, The Foundation distributes grants to nonprofit organizations, including scholarships to support post-secondary education. Since 1985, the Foundation has awarded more than $53 million to enhance the quality of life of the residents of Muncie and Delaware County.

About Ball Brothers Foundation – Established in 1926, Ball Brothers Foundation awards approximately $8 million annually in grants supporting arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services, and public affairs. The Muncie-based private foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county, and state.