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MHFA Spotlight: kate spade new york

When Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) joined forces with kate spade new york for a second time, hope took center stage.

The latest campaign with the MHFA Impact Network partner began when the fashion brand saw the profound mental health impact COVID-19 had on the arts and entertainment industry. When Broadway closed for a year and a half — the longest shutdown in its history — the ripple effects fell particularly hard on area artists, entertainers and professionals. Now, support from kate spade new york is changing lives.

kate spade new york specifically chose to fund Adult MHFA trainings for members of the New York City-New Jersey arts and entertainment community. With the help of collaborative partners the Entertainment Community Fund, Soho House New York and Love IV Lawrence, MHFA has trained 225 Mental Health First Aiders in 16 Adult MHFA trainings and awarded one Instructor scholarship. Broadway shows represented in the trainings include “Aladdin,” “Lion King,” “Hadestown,” “Wicked” and “Funny Girl.”

MHFA Instructor Stoney Dvornik and National Trainer Alex Hardy led most of the trainings. Both Instructors have close ties with the arts community.

“As a Broadway enthusiast and the mother of a full-time Broadway professional, I witnessed the multi-faceted toll the pandemic had on that community, specifically the 18-month Broadway shutdown,” said Dvornik. “The kate spade new york initiative has been a godsend to many who were able to become certified Mental Health First Aiders. I observed expressions of relief and hope on the faces of participants. Many expressed how grateful they were to have learned skills and gained confidence to support their peers and themselves through emotional challenges.”

Alex Hardy said MHFA strengthens abilities most people already possess. “MHFA is great way for each of us to use our innate love, knowledge and connections to support our communities,” he said.

kate spade new york’s social impact mission focused on mental health and wellbeing as seen through its partnership with MHFA is helping to heal the arts community. And more good news — funding is still available!

Do you know an arts-affiliated organization in the New York City area that could benefit from hosting MHFA trainings? Complete an inquiry form to request a funded MHFA training for your team! In addition to training, this project provides additional resources that will support communities, friends and family members who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.

If your organization is interested in becoming a MHFA strategic partner, please email us at

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