Monarch trains Robeson County counselors, social workers on how to respond to mental health emergencies
Approximately 90 school officials receive Youth Mental Health First Aid training
Monarch, a not-for-profit organization that provides support to people statewide with mental illness, substance use disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities, is partnering with the Public Schools of Robeson County to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training to 88 of the district’s school social workers and counselors. The training will be held Nov. 18-20 at UNC Pembroke.
Because 1 in 5 youth experience mental illness in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Health, YMHFA training helps to reduce stigma and increases the understanding that mental illness is real, common and treatable. The eight-hour course will give participants a five-step action plan to use in crisis situations involving individuals with mental illness or substance use disorders.
YMHFA is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers and others how to help 12-18-year olds who are experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. YMFHA is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with preteens and teenagers. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders, including ADHD, and eating disorders.
“Similar to CPR training, which helps laypersons without medical or clinical training to assist someone who is suffering a heart attack, this training can equip a person to manage a mental health crisis, such as someone contemplating suicide or inflicting harm on others,” explained Kelli Carson, clinical operations director at Monarch who oversees services in Robeson and several eastern counties. “Those who attend, like our partners with Robeson County Schools, learn to recognize the signs of a crisis and connect youth and adolescents demonstrating or exhibiting these signs to proper professional care and resources. We were elated to work with the school district to offer this very important training initiative.”
Based in Albemarle with mental health offices, day programs, services and sites statewide, including several in Robeson County, Monarch has provided training to approximately 500 people, including public safety officials, in Mental Health First Aid. For details about Monarch’s MHFA trainings or if your group or organization is interested in Mental Health First Aid training, please contact Emily Fullmer, senior community liaison at Monarch, (919) 995-7413.
Established in 1958, Monarch is a not-for-profit that provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges. The agency is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and certified by The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as a Critical Access Behavioral Health Agency (CABHA). Monarch operates The Arc of Stanly County, which is a chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about how Monarch provides support, please call (866) 272-7826.
Pictured above: Youth Mental Health First Aid training participants engage in an activity that simulates the perspective of someone who is hearing voices and how that person may experience life in an effort to gain a better understanding.