The Source Continues Training Community Organizations in Mental Health First Aid

by Beverly Paris

Charlene Morris, LMHC, MCAP. Director of The Source’s Dignity Wellness Mental Health Program has been working with the Indian River County Volunteer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT is an exciting and unique Community Service Program that is designed to engage and inspire community involvement at the local level. Their programs educate people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Although the CERT program has a mental health training portion, being certified in Mental Health First Aid provides the CERT Team with first aid strategies and interventions when a person is experiencing a mental health crisis during a natural disaster or public hazard. To that end Ms. Morris has recently trained 11 individuals from CERT in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) designed for emergency service personnel.