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Over $50 Million Available to Support Mental Health First Aid: Apply Today!

This post originally appeared on Linda’s Corner Office Blog. Read it here.

National Council and SAMHSA to Host Informational Webinars

Stigma. Fear. Lack of awareness about mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Inability to access services that can help. There are many reasons why individuals with mental illnesses and addictions don’t get the treatment they need, but these shouldn’t be among them. Everyone can be the difference for someone who is experiencing a mental health or addiction problem if they know what to say and what to do, and those are exactly the skills Mental Health First Aid teaches.

That’s why I’m pleased to announce that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has just released two funding opportunities – totaling almost $59 million – that will support nonprofit organizations and State and Tribal Educational Agencies that wish to provide Mental Health First Aid training. Mental Health Awareness Training Grants (MHAT) and Project AWARE State Education Agency Grants (Project AWARE-SEA) are designed to:

  1. Increase awareness of mental health issues, especially serious mental illnesses and serious emotional disturbances.
  2. Train school personnel, emergency services personnel, veterans, law enforcement, fire department personnel and others to identify people with mental disorders and respond to crisis situations.
  3. Connect individuals and their families who need specialized help to school and community services that provide treatment and recovery supports.
  4. Educate individuals about resources in the community available to those experiencing mental health or substance use challenges.

In past funding cycles, Mental Health First Aid has been called out specifically, but this time youwill have to make the case why this evidence-based program is your intervention of choice. To that end, please join us on Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. ET for an informational webinar that will discuss:

  1. An overview of Mental Health First Aid.
  2. Using Mental Health First Aid in your funding opportunity application.
  3. Mental Health First Aid training implementation options.
  4. Specific Mental Health First Aid curriculum content developed as a response to the opioid crisis.
  5. Other curricula formats available for adults who work with youth, first responders, older adults, higher education, veterans and Spanish-speaking communities.

SAMHSA will also host informational webinars and conference calls to review the details of both the MHAT and Project AWARE-SEA funding opportunities.

If you are interested in either or both of these SAMHSA funding opportunities – and we hope you are – please begin the registration process immediately because it can take up to six weeks to complete.

More Than 1 Million Trained

Since the National Council brought Mental Health First Aid to the United States a decade ago, more than 1 million individuals have been trained – including everyone from police officers, teachers and employers to former First Lady Michelle Obama, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall and television personality Dr. Oz. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation partnered with the National Council to train 150,000 First Aiders.

The eight-hour course is offered around the country and includes special courses for public safety officers, teachers, employers, youth, military members and veterans, older adults and foster families. We’ve developed and will soon make available Mental Health First Aid curriculum content specific to the opioid crisis, including how to administer the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone.

Mental Health First Aid is a great leveler – it doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or how you spend your time. Anyone can learn to help a fellow human being who is experiencing a mental health or addiction crisis. Plan now to bring this lifesaving program to your school, law enforcement agency or community organization. Then let us help you succeed because people’s lives depend on it.

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