Tomorrow is the day and YOU can still register!

The day for what, you may ask? A fabulous question. Tomorrow is our annual Stepping Up For Our Communities Event – a celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month and Children’s Mental Health Day!

May Logo

What we’re most excited to share with you though is that you can still register today! We have space left in both the Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid courses, and we’d love to see you there. Also, events like these are always more fun with a friend, so please share the love (and the registration links). Please click the appropriate link below to register:

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Adult Mental Health First Aid

When:  Tuesday, May 19, 2015

7:30 am Registration, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm Event

Where:  Arapahoe Community College, 5900 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, CO 80120

We can’t wait to see you there!

Special thanks to our Youth Logo Contest Winner, Dennis H. for the awesome event logo at the top.

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This event was developed under the grant 1H79SM061884-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.

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An inspiring time for mental health in schools

Here at the Be a Lifeline blog, we couldn’t be more excited that today is May 1st. Yes, you’re right, that means we’re one month closer to summer, which is absolutely a reason to celebrate. However, we’re most excited because today marks the start of Mental Health Awareness Month! And, we could think of no better way to kick off the month than with a post from Mark Lanning, chock-full of incredible resources for behavioral health in schools! PS – another cute dog photo coming your way…


What an exciting and historic time to be involved in behavioral health reform in schools! In my short time as an educator, I have seen a large paradigm shift towards whole-child education, prevention efforts, and increased mental health literacy in the general population. My name is Mark Lanning and I am the School Based Specialist with Mental Health Frist Aid Colorado. I will be writing blog posts on the intersection of behavioral health and schools. For more on my bio, you can click here. I wanted to share with you an overview of a few statewide initiatives to inspire us all that hope and recovery are possible. (And not the scary and dangerous messages portrayed by many media outlets).

But, first, Tony last week inspired me to share an adorable picture of my dog. He is a greyhound and gets cold in the winter. As you can tell, he LOVES his hat.

marks dog

Colorado has received many prominent grants to address behavioral health needs in schools. Thanks to a partnership with the Office of Behavioral Health, districts are able to receive school based therapists to arrange counseling sessions with students at their local school. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has initiated the School Health Professionals Grant to drive marijuana tax revenue towards substance-use prevention and mental health services in districts and charter schools. Mental Health First Aid Colorado has partnered with CDE to guide comprehensive behavioral health reform in schools through the SAMHSA grant Project AWARE. Over the past few years, many school districts in Colorado have added mental health coordinators to support conversations between schools, districts, and community resources.

Coloradoans have been grateful to see the formation of many agencies as well to address behavioral health needs of students. In 2008, the Colorado School Safety Resource Center (CSSRC) was founded to support safe and healthy school populations. The CSSRC serves as the leading expert in suicide and risk assessment, positive behavioral health supports, and classroom level best practices for assisting students with mental health challenges. Although the staff focuses on school threats, they are quick to recognize that the vast majority of students with mental health diagnosis are not a threat to school safety. Safe2Tell officially became a State Agency last year. Safe2Tell is an anonymous reporting system in schools whose most common submittal is behavioral health concerns. Recently, we also saw the launch of the Colorado Crisis Services.

Coloradoans are also blessed to have many wonderful in-state nonprofits supporting behavioral health reform. While we at MHFACO love the YMHFA curriculum, we recognize that we are one piece of the puzzle towards holistic student health. Rather than compete with other programs, we believe that only by collaboration will we achieve our common goals.  While there are numerous programs, I wanted to highlight a few that have resonated with me recently thanks to their innovation and grassroots efforts. Calming Kids teaches an innovative and evidence-based bully-proofing program for pre-school through high-school aged students. CK blends yoga with non-violent communication techniques to develop an attitude of non-violence towards self, towards peers, and towards the community. The Carson J. Spencer engages local schools and youth groups in designing a social enterprise to address the root causes of suicide. Called The Fire Within, the students learn tangible business and peer support skills. Lastly, the Colorado Education Initiative created the Behavioral Health Framework to support all 3 Response to Intervention Tiers for students with mental health challenges.

Sometimes when we are interacting with students with mental health diagnosis, it can be difficult to see the big picture or all of the support you have behind the scenes. While our system is far from perfect, I am confident we are taking major steps to support whole student wellness.

Mental Health First Aid Colorado Happenings

We know, we know. Today is Wednesday, not Monday when you normally see a post from us. But, we could think of no better mid-week pick-me-up than to connect with you through this blog. You’re in need of a quick pick-me-up too? Great, we’re in good company.  Read on for some awesome updates from Tony Barkey. Spoiler alert: he’s included an adorable picture of his dog. This is not a drill, so you should probably keep scrolling.


Hi my name is Tony Barkey and I am the Statewide MHFACO Program Coordinator. You can learn a lot more about me if you click here. Each blog, I will try to share some of our higher level news and upcoming events. This month there are a couple of things that I really want to highlight. First, I would like to shamelessly try to grab your attention with a picture of my dog.

Rinny

OK focus now. The first thing I wanted to do is promote the Stepping Up for Our Communities Event on Tuesday May 19th. This is a really cool event where we will train over 300 individuals in youth and adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). The event takes place at the Arapahoe Community College located at 5900 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120. We have a lineup of great speakers, excellent food and of course the ability to become youth or adult MHFA certified. Oh and did I mention that the event is completely FREE. Not the type of free where you still end up having to buy a book, but really free and we will feed you and send you home with goodies. To register for the adult class, please click here. To register for the youth class please click here. The courses are for anyone that would like to learn more about mental health and substance abuse issues, and both give you an action plan to help yourself or someone else that is going through difficult times. The youth course is meant for adults working primarily with a youth audience. Similarly, the adult course is meant for adults working mostly with adults.

The next big piece of news is the new and improved registration system. Thank you all for your patience as the new system was coming to life. To check it out for yourself and to register for a course just visit http://www.mhfaco.org/find-a-class. On the homepage, you can use the filter in the top left to sort by the type of class (youth or adult), location of your preferred class and a date and time that works best for you. You can also use the arrows in the middle of the page to manually look by month. Finally, there is an ability to click list on the far right and you can view courses in chronological order.

Once you find a class that you are interested in, all you have to do is register. We will ask some basic demographic questions and you will complete a pre-course survey. Both are essential to the bigger picture of MHFACO. We are able to offer the course free of cost through multiple state and federal funding sources. Demographic information helps us know information about who is taking the course and more importantly where we need to do some targeted outreach. Rest assured, your information is secure and we will never share that with anyone else. Even though the course is nationally recognized and evidence based, the survey is still important to continuously build the case that the trainings work. It also helps us create a feedback loop to make constant improvements to the course.

After you complete your registration, you will receive email confirmation. Now all you need to do is come to the course for the day that you signed up and be ready to learn. If you have any questions about registering or anything else please feel free to reach me at tbarkey@mhfaco.org.

We want you…to step up for our communities!

May Logo

If you’ve been keeping track, you’re right – we still have one more staff member to introduce. This week though, we’re going to interrupt our regularly scheduled blog posts to bring you an exciting announcement.

If you haven’t heard already, preparations are in full swing for our annual Stepping Up for Our Communities Event – a celebration of Mental Health Awareness Month and Children’s Mental Health Day! We will train over 300 people in Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid in ONE DAY on May 19th. Let that sink in for a minute. Adding over 300 trained advocates for mental health in our communities? Can you imagine the astronomical increase in informed, compassionate conversations we will generate around mental health?

Alright, so once that’s had a chance to set in, you might be wondering – how can I get involved?

Phew. We thought you’d never ask. We want YOU to Step Up For Our Communities! Register to become certified (at no cost to you) in either Adult or Youth Mental Health First Aid by clicking the appropriate link below. Registration is filling up fast and will close on April 30, 2015, so be sure to register today! Also, events like these are always more fun with a friend, so please share the love (and the registration links).

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Adult Mental Health First Aid

When:  Tuesday, May 19, 2015

7:30 am Registration, 8:00 am – 5:30 pm Event

Where:  Arapahoe Community College, 5900 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, CO 80120

We can’t wait to see you there!

Special thanks to our Youth Logo Contest Winner, Dennis H. for the awesome event logo at the top.

cropped-mhfa-logo-horizontal-rgb1.jpg

co_cde__dept_300_rgb_large

Print

This event was developed under the grant 1H79SM061884-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.