Abigail Newland, Mental Health Awareness Training Specialist/Prevention Specialist and MaryLue Bell, Mental Health Awareness Training Specialist will be part of new training available through Preferred Family Healthcare as part of a recent grant.

Preferred Family Healthcare has received a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement a Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) project within twenty-seven northern Missouri counties. MHAT will offer mental health trainings targeting individuals working with the youth and young adult populations 4-25 years of age. The trainings will follow the Mental Health First Aid curriculum.

Mental Health First Aid is operated by the National Council for Behavioral Health in partnership with the Missouri Department of Mental Health.  Mental Health First Aid is a skill based program that teaches individuals to utilize an evidence-based action plan of assessing for risk of suicide or harm, listening non-judgmentally, giving reassurance and information, encouraging appropriate professional help, and encouraging self-help and other support strategies. More information can be found at www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org

MHAT will provide the Mental Health First Aid training to 2,100 individuals over the next three years.  In addition to trainings, MHAT will promote mental health awareness in the community through social media campaigns and community collaboration, and distribute information for local resources to assist families and individuals suffering from mental health disorders.  The program began on September 30, 2018; trainings began on October 18, 2018.

SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.  The SAMHSA three year grant, totaling $363,092, will fully fund all MHAT project operations including the Mental Health First Aid trainings and social media campaigns. Over the three year grant period, MHAT will provide 70 trainings, with approximately 2100 individuals participants, with a goal of increasing participants’ knowledge of mental health disorders and the available resources for mental health treatment.

Preferred Family Healthcare is a community-based non-profit healthcare organization offering a variety of services in areas including child welfare, mental and behavioral health, substance abuse treatment, support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and employment support. Preferred Family Healthcare’s corporate headquarters are located in Kirksville, Missouri. Preferred Family Healthcare has over 99 locations in four states.

For more information about the MHAT project, please contact MaryLue Bell at 660-626-0690. General information relating to Preferred Family Healthcare and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can be accessed at the www.pfh.org and www.samhsa.gov websites.