Monarch Trains Arc NC Staff in Mental Health First Aid
National training provided to help The Arc of NC staff statewide recognize mental health crises
Monarch and The Arc of North Carolina partnered to offer Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to 75 clinical and administrative staff in four of The Arc’s main offices statewide throughout the month of June.
Because 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 5 youth experience mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, MHFA training helps to reduce stigma and increases the understanding that mental illness is real, common and treatable. The eight-hour course provides participants a five-step action plan to use in crisis situations involving individuals with mental illness or substance use disorders.
“We provide community-based supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and some of those people also have mental illness,” explained Lisa Poteat, deputy director at The Arc of North Carolina. “In most of our offices, and out in our communities, we occasionally have instances in which we rely on staff to provide a calming assistance to people we support who may be having a crisis or be on the verge of a crisis. We knew that the Mental Health First Aid training could provide some basic insights and skills for our staff. We appreciate the personal touch from Monarch and their partnership in this effort. ”
MHFA helps participants identify risk factors and warning signs of substance use disorders and mental illness such as depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, eating disorders and self-injury. Similar to CPR training, which helps people without medical or clinical training to assist someone who is suffering a heart attack, MHFA training can equip a person to manage a mental health crisis, such as someone contemplating suicide or inflicting harm on others. Those who attend learn to recognize the signs of a crisis and connect individuals demonstrating or exhibiting these signs to proper professional care and resources.