Staff are Being Trained on Mental Health First Aid

Training will Support Student Mental Health
Posted on 11/29/2018
Faculty and staff members will be able to offer more support to students experiencing a mental health disorder or crisis at Bishop Heelan Schools, thanks to recent Youth Mental Health First Aid training funded by a federal grant.

BHCS counselor Kathy Lehman, Mater Dei, school therapist Stacia Barker, Heelan High and former school psychologist Jenny Pattee, curriculum and enrollment director, are now certified to train teachers, administrators, parents and coaches in Youth Mental Health First Aid. 

Youth Mental Health First Aid distinguishes typical adolescence versus mental health symptoms, risk and protective factors and how to recognize a crisis, according to Barker. Many teens today face depression, parents divorcing, financial problems, single parent family stresses, isolation and more. 

“The more knowledgeable people are about mental health issues, the less stigma will be associated with common life challenges,” Barker says. “Many young people with mental health challenges can be helped with earlier identification, early support and intervention. Bishop Heelan Schools are working to provide ‘wrap-around’ services to all of our students holistically: mind, body, spirit. We want to nurture and care for all students and provide yet another layer of support to our families.” 

The BHCS certified staff members hope to have half of the staff in all school buildings trained within a year.