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Monarch receives unique national Mental Health First Aid grant to train public safety professionals

Monarch gets national Mental Health First Aid grant to train public safety professionals

Monarch recently received a unique grant to train public safety professionals on how to Mental Health First Aid final logo2identify and assist individuals who might be experiencing a mental health emergency.

The statewide organization is one of only eight in the United States, and the only one in the Southeast, to receive a Mental Health First Aid USA (MHFA) grant to train up to 120 public safety professionals in rural areas.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 86 percent of state and local law enforcement agencies serve less than 50,000 people, and many agencies within that 86 percent employ between one and 24 officers serving communities with populations under 25,000.

Often, these local and state law enforcement officers are called to respond to individuals experiencing emotional or mental stress, and mental health training and county partnerships have proven to be effective in helping officers respond to crises.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant,” said Blake Martin, chief development officer for Monarch. “We know there is a strong need to educate public safety professionals about responding to people with mental illness and we are proud to be a leader offering that training.”

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 course teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness. Like CPR training, MHFA helps participants identify signs of substance abuse disorders and mental illness such as depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis and self-injury. Training participants will learn how to connect individuals demonstrating or exhibiting these signs to proper professional care and resources.

Monarch partnered with MHFA USA last fall, and since then has certified four individuals as MHFA trainers and facilitated trainings for nearly 300 people in North Carolina. The organization has also collaborated with local community colleges to train 150 professionals and staff in MHFA.

Monarch plans to expand MHFA training into other communities around North Carolina and will offer Youth MHFA training in May in partnership with the Stanly County Schools.

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.                                                                      ###


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