Behind the Scenes at MHFACO: News and Noteworthy Events

Hello LifeLiners, FirstAiders and anyone who accidentally ended up on our blog!

As a reminder, each month I will write about some big developments at Mental Health First Aid Colorado (MHFACO). Recently, we attended two major events. On May 19th, we had the annual Stepping Up for Our Communities Event to honor National Children’s Mental Health Day and National Mental Health Awareness Month. Then the following night, the team braved the weather at the Rockies game for Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council’s Night at the Rockies.

At the annual training event, we had over 90 individuals trained in-person in youth and adult MHFA and an additional 90 plus trained across the state at six different spoke events. A big thanks to Southeast Mental Health Group, Centennial Mental Health Center, AspenPointe, The Center for Mental Health and Jefferson Center for Mental Health for hosting spoke events across the state that day. The event also featured a fantastic keynote address from Curt Drennen, Outreach Program Manager, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, where he discussed stress and how the body and mind react to stressful situations.

During lunch, we all had the privilege to hear touching first hand stories from the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health Youth Essay Contest first place (Sydney Lacy) and second place (Chris Maclean) winners, as well as Children’s Hospital Youth Action Board Member, Kelsey Briding. All three spoke eloquently about how mental illness had impacted their lives and through the telling of their stories, literally reduced stigma before our eyes. As a bonus, they will also be featured guest bloggers, along with the third place essay contest winner, Christopher Glenn Watterud.

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All in all, an amazing way to spend a Tuesday!

The next night, the team manned a booth at the Rockies game. Since we were playing the Philadelphia Phillies, we reached out to our partners at the Philadelphia Mental Health First Aid office to see if we could cross promote the event. We are proud to lead the efforts in Colorado, but it is important to remember that MHFA is a national movement and program. The team in Philly does some amazing work, and they came through and shared all kinds of informational giveaways and goodies. We even made a little wager on the outcome of the game.

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While it didn’t work out for us this time, we did get to meet a lot of fans and spread the word about our programs. As always, feel free to drop us a line at registration@mhfaco.org, check out the website at www.mhfaco.org, or leave a comment below.


Tony Barkey is the Statewide Program Coordinator for Mental Health First Aid Colorado. To hear more from Tony, enter your email in the “Follow” box at the right or check out his earlier post here.

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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!

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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.

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.

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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!

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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.