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

 Over the past three years, VCP trained 38 YMHFA instructors and established a statewide infrastructure with local regional coordinators to train over 2495 First Aiders throughout Vermont. These trainings were provided free of charge and resulted in over 1700 youth being supported.

VCP recently received another three year SAMHSA grant:  Community FIRST (First Signs, Intervention, Referral, Support, Treatment) which is a statewide collaboration between VCP, the VCP Network agencies, and Vermont Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (VT LEND). Community FIRST will: increase the mental health literacy of community members and professionals, reduce stigma, support the early identification and referral of those experiencing mental health disorders and/or substance use disorders (MH and/or SUD), and increase 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, the 38 established Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid (Y/MHFA) instructors, five new Y/MHFA instructors, and 30 new MHFA instructors will provide Y/MHFA trainings statewide certifying at least 3,600 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.

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

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