VCP network agencies provide numerous youth and adult Mental Health First Aid (Y/MHFA) trainings throughout the state.

Over the past four years, VCP trained 30 adult MHFA instructors and 38 Youth MHFA instructors, and established a statewide infrastructure with local regional coordinators. Thus far, we have trained over 3,690 First Aiders throughout Vermont. These trainings were provided free of charge and resulted in over 2473 youth and 766 adults being supported (the first three years focused on youth only).

VCP has achieved this through tremendous collaborations with network agencies and community partners and with the support of two three-year SAMHSA grants. The most current SAMHSA grant: Community FIRST (First Signs, Intervention, Referral, Support, Treatment) is a statewide collaboration between VCP, the VCP Network agencies, and Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (VT LEND). Community FIRST: increases the mental health literacy of community members and professionals, reduces stigma, supports the early identification and referral of those experiencing mental health disorders and/or substance use disorders (MH and/or SUD), and increases cultural competencies among community members and professionals supporting individuals with MH/SUD needs. In addition to general community members, targeted populations include: school-age youth, students and staff in higher education, veterans/military and their families, and refugee and immigrant (R/I) communities. To meet current demand and identified need, our instructor pool will provide Y/MHFA trainings statewide in the next two years certifying at least an additional 2,500 community members and youth and adult serving professionals as First Aiders. In addition, at least 500 First Aiders and service delivery providers will be trained in Cultural and Linguistic Competency (CALC).

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in youth or adults, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help when a person is in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Click the image to view the VCP Mental Health First Aid Initiative Brochure

For more information, contact our Project Coordinator, Lance Metayer. He can be reached at [email protected]

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