Every year, we remind you that May is Mental Health Awareness month. Because one in every 4-5 people suffers from a mental health issue which is debilitating enough to be considered a mental illness, we can safely say that these disorders are very common. You probably know someone who is suffering, and you may not even know it. WHY? While we are openly talking about mental health like never before in the history of our country, we find that the stigma associated with mental illness still prevails enough that many people simply won’t admit to having a problem.
How do we change this? The answer is simple: Keep Talking About Mental Health. Talk about good mental health, as well as the disorders. Make everyone you come across aware of what Sanger said: “There is no health without mental health.” A person’s mental health is as important, if not more important, than their physical health. Mental illness, often, starts in childhood and recovery is possible if we can catch it on time; however, it often takes a decade or more before people seek help or get treatment.
Early intervention is key to success and recovery, so people need to feel safe enough to talk about their mental health issues without the feelings of impending judgement. We can help by learning and practicing active and non-judgemental listening skills and allowing people to tell us what is happening to them. We can openly talk about mental health. We can change the way we talk about mental illness and how we present the topics to our friends and family members. We can change mental health policies at work, especially those which limit future potential for those who openly admit they have mental health issues. Afterall, mental illness is rarely permanent and will affect each and every one of us sometime during our lives, even if we don’t want to admit it.
May is Mental Health Awareness month. At any given moment, one in every 4-5 people will suffer from a serious mental health disorder. Who do you know that you can help?
Congratulations to our new YOUTH Mental Health First Aiders!
Several individuals and organizations were represented at our latest YOUTH Mental Health First Aid class hosted by the Tipton County Foundation. Representatives from Boone and Madison County CASA programs, FSA of Howard County’s Healthy Families program, Ivy Tech State College, Tipton County Public Library, Meridian Health Services, East Pointe Bible Church, and more came to our 8-hour certification course to learn about mental health issues experienced by our children and youth and what to do if they come across a child who is experiencing a mental health crisis. Instruction, role play, case studies, and several activities, as well as opportunities to network over good food, provided the structure of the training. Each participant became certified through the National Council for Behavioral Health! Congratulations!
Franklin Township Community School Corporation teachers, staff, and support personnel attended a certification class in YOUTH Mental Health First Aid. Youth Mental Health First Aid certification teaches participants how to identify mental health issues in children and adolescents and assist a young person, before or during, a time of mental health crisis. Since mental illness in young people looks a lot like normal adolescent development, the Franklin Township staff learned how to tell the difference, as well as, how to approach a young person who may not have the knowldge or vocabulary to express that mental health might be a concern.
In an effort to certify all teachers in the USA within the next ten years, the National Council for Behavioral Health, NAMI-Indiana, the Education & Wellness Coalition, behavioral health coalitions, nonprofits, hospitals, schools, and others have been offering the certification class all over the country. Like CPR and Red Cross and Safety certifications offered by the Red Cross, Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid teach participants what to do to assist a person who is suffering from a mental healht crisis until appropriate professional help arrives or the issue subsudes. Teachers across the country are getting certified and learning about Youth Mental Health First Aid in an effort to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, to learn how to approach and take action when a child is experiencing a mental health crisis, and to help our youth get early intervention for better outcomes.
Congratulations Franklin Township Community School Corporation! Thank you for a great class!