Exciting news! Kanabec County Community Health in partnership with Mora High School was awarded the teen Mental Health First Aid pilot grant from the National Council on Behavioral Health. Our community was chosen out of 170 applications, we are the only pilot program in Minnesota and one of only 75 schools across the nation to be given this opportunity!
We’ll be training students to identify and respond to mental health and substance use problems among their peers. This is an important skill for everyone to have and we are thrilled to provide it to our students.
Last week, Patti Miller, Kanabec County Community Health Promotions Coordinator, spent three days learning the teen Mental Health First Aid curriculum and the steps necessary to implement the program. “The curriculum is fantastic! It is designed to help teens recognize signs of mental health or substance use challenges in their peers. The number one thing a teen can do to support a friend dealing with anxiety or depression is to help them seek support from a trusted adult,” said Miller.
The course was developed in response to research indicating that young, people prefer sharing challenges with peers. The National Council for Behavioral Health adapted the teen Mental Health First Aid training from Australia to make it relevant for American high school students with input from national mental health experts and teens across the country. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and the Well being Trust provided funding for the development of teen Mental Health First Aid.
Implantation will take place early 2020 and include all 10th grade students at Mora High School. Details of the program will be shared with parents and community members as implementation is rolled out. We’re excited to share this program and teach our students how to #BeTheDifference for their friends.