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Monarch to offer Mental Health First Aid training in Stanly County March 20

National training offered to the public to assist people experiencing mental health emergencies

Last fall, Monarch partnered with Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) USA to teach a select group of community Monarch MHFA -weband school leaders how to properly respond in crisis situations involving individuals with mental illness or substance use disorders. Now, this important training is being offered to anyone in Stanly County who is interested.

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 (NAMI), the eight-hour MHFA training helps to reduce stigma and increases the understanding that mental illness is real, common and treatable.

MHFA helps participants identify signs of substance use disorders and mental illness such as depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, eating disorders and self-injury. Those who attend will learn how to connect individuals demonstrating or exhibiting these signs to proper professional care and resources. To date, Monarch, along with community and business partners, have provided training to approximately 200 people.

“Just as CPR training helps a layperson with no medical or clinical training assist someone who is suffering a Monarch MHFA -web2heart attack, MHFA training can equip a person to assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis, such as contemplating suicide or inflicting harm on others,” explained Blake Martin, chief development officer at Monarch. “In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives.”

The MHFA training in Albemarle is made possible by a $9,750 award Monarch received from the United Way of Stanly County to provide financial support for the sessions held in the county. Monarch will offer several public trainings throughout the spring and summer, including Youth Mental Health First Aid to address mental illness and substance abuse challenges among young people.

“The funds will help offset the cost of trainings for staff, MHFA books, resource materials, and to provide training to the public at a reduced cost. Additional trainings may be available for churches, businesses and community organizations,” Martin said.

The MHFA training in Albemarle will be held on Thursday, March 20 from 8 a.m. -5 p.m. at the Stanly Community College (SCC) Small Business Center, 143 N. Second St. The cost is $25 per person. Space is limited and registration is required by March 18. To RSVP, contact Whitleigh Pinion at (704) 986-1578 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To learn more about Monarch’s Mental Health First Aid program, please contact Blake Martin at (704) 986-1584 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Established in 1958, Monarch provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders. The agency is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL) and is CABHA certified. Monarch, which operates The Arc of Stanly County, is an affiliate chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about how Monarch is “Helping Dreams Take Flight” for people living in our communities, please call (800) 230-7525 or visit


Pictured above:   Monarch staff along with several area business and community partners participate in the agency's launch of its Mental Health First Aid training on Oct. 18, 2013 in Kannapolis.                                     

Media contact: Natasha A. Suber, (704) 986-1582 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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