In five days, the number could be in the double digits as people across the state have traveled to Anchorage to become certified mental health first aid trainers. “I feel like mental health first aid is important in any state but it’s particularly important here,” said Jill Ramsey with the Trust Training Cooperative. Alaska had the second highest rate of suicide in the nation in 2010 according tothe State of Alaska Epidemiology. According to theTrust Training Cooperative, 29 people representing different parts of the state are participating in a program to become certified mental health first aid trainers. “The premise of the training is learning to recognize when there’s a mental health crisis and then knowing what to do and maybe in some cases what not to do,” said Ramsey. A duo of trainers with the National Council for Behavioral Health is teaching the five-day course. They were brought up from the lower 48 with funding from the Alaska Primary Care Association, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and Trust Training Cooperative. Graduates from the course will go on to teach others how to identify mental health issues and how to help someone find help.
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Mind Your Health: Time for conversations on mental health
Joe Sanfelippo (R-West Allis) to push forward on a bill that would move authority over mental health care from county government to a regional commission or panel of medical professionals. County supervisors have argued that they are moving from the institutional model based on the complex to a system that involves more community care, but there is still stiff resistance from some to a plan by County Executive Chris Abele to downsize the facility, much of it stemming from union resistance to the idea. Supervisors opposed to the idea argue that Abele is moving too fast and jeopardizing the safety of long-term patients. We disagree; in fact, we think the county as a whole has moved too slowly in the last several decades and has continued to operate a dysfunctional system.
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Follow prescription for better mental health care system
The idea behind these community conversations is straightforward and very simple: Get people to talk about the elephant in our room. If our mental health and emotional well being is essential to our overall health, why do we avoid the topic? The goals are simple too: Break down misperceptions, promote healthy communities, and work together to find local solutions to mental health needs. Each one can be surely be accomplished in Chester County. Working together is the key.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.dailylocal.com/lifestyle/20131105/mind-your-health-time-for-conversations-on-mental-health