Breaking Barriers: Certified Mental Health First Aiders Shine at The Source

By Charlene Morris

LMHC, MCAP, Director of Mental Health

In a heartwarming celebration of compassion, resilience, and community, The Source is proud to acknowledge the unwavering dedication of its participants who embarked on a transformative journey during their Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training on September 18, 2023. This milestone event marks the beginning of a new era, where individuals have acquired the knowledge and skills to become Certified Mental Health First Aiders, bringing a beacon of hope to those in need.

The participants, glowing with pride and accomplishment, shared their profound insights and experiences following their MHFA training:

Taneka, with a gleam of determination in her eyes, emphasized, “Learning how to use the ALGEE tool to assess and approach a member is a useful guide in helping our members.”

Joy, whose newfound wisdom extended beyond the workplace, exclaimed, “This helped me not only at work but in my personal life and with my family.”

TommyLee, reflecting on the importance of recognizing warning signs, said, “Learning the warning signs was most helpful and reminds me of how to help others and my family.”

Another passionate participant, Linda, shared her wisdom: “Understanding how to reduce the mental health stigma through increased knowledge, person-first language, and talking about it only puts things in a better perspective.”

The Source’s commitment to fostering mental health awareness doesn’t end here. The organization is steadfastly continuing its mission to train volunteers and staff in MHFA, with the next class scheduled for September 30, 2023. This dedication is a testament to The Source’s unwavering belief that equipped individuals can confidently recognize signs and symptoms and respond compassionately to those experiencing mental health or substance challenges.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a program that empowers participants to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among adults. In a world where mental health concerns are increasingly prevalent, MHFA serves as a guiding light.

The statistics are staggering; on average, 130 people lose their lives to suicide every day. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reports this grim reality. Furthermore, from 1999 to 2019, 841,000 people succumbed to drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These figures underscore the pressing need for initiatives like MHFA. It’s a sobering fact that nearly 1 in 5 individuals in the U.S. grapples with a mental illness, as reported by the National Institute of Mental Health.

The need for MHFA training extends far and wide. Employees, first responders, hospital staff, and caring individuals can all benefit from these crucial skills. As we look to the future, The Source eagerly anticipates serving the community by bringing MHFA to your organization in 2024. Together, we can break down barriers, destigmatize mental health, and create a more empathetic and resilient society.

Congratulations to the Certified Mental Health First Aiders at The Source for taking the first steps toward a brighter, more compassionate future!