A common question I get from Residence Life Staff and Campus Life Directors is, “How can we help our Student Leaders help other students?” By the way, it’s a good question: student leaders have direct access to their floor residence day and night, and they’re also the first point of contact when there are issues in the dorms.
After being an RA myself, gained training to help youth with mental health issues, and have trained students on campuses nationwide, one program I would recommend to students and consumers alike is the Mental Health First Aid Training hosted by the National Council for Behavioral Health.
This day-long training was founded in 2001 by health education nurse Betty Kitchener and mental health literacy professor Anthony Jorm. These two founded Mental Health First Aid™ Australia, a national non-profit health promotion charity focused on training and research. After much success in Australia, the program was adapted for many countries internationally, including the United States’ version through the National Council.
The United States is just one of the many countries that have adapted the program from Australia. Check out the countries at Mental Health First Aid International.
From the National Council’s Mental Health First Aid Website:
Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. In 2008, we worked with the program’s founders to adapt Mental Health First Aid for the U.S. We ensure the quality and standardization of the program nationwide, certify instructors to teach Mental Health First Aid in local communities, and support program growth.
Because it is designed for laymen consumers, this program is an easy stepping stone for college campus leaders to learn how to identify signs of mental illness or addiction, a 5-step plan to take action, and resources to turn to for students to get the next level of help.
Find a Course directly from their website for more information and check out where the most ALGEE-trainer mental health first aiders are across the USA!