Hundreds In San Bernardino County Trained to Recognize and Assist Individuals in Mental Health Crisis
The San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) is partnering with faith-based organizations and community groups to provide no-cost mental health training designed to equip participants on how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
Since July 2015, DBH has conducted over 27 Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings for over 500 individuals ranging in age from 16 to 81. The 8-hour training provides participants with the skills to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis. According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, as of May 21, 2017, 1 million people nationwide have been trained in MHFA including former First Lady Michelle Obama, Patrick Kennedy, Dr. Oz and Lady Gaga.
Throughout San Bernardino County, DBH has provided MHFA trainings for the San Bernardino County Unified School District, the University of Redlands, and students from Bloomington High School, Cal State San Bernardino and Copper Mountain College. DBH has also trained county partners from the Housing Authority, Aging and Adult Services, and the Transitional Assistance Department.
Churches who have hosted a MHFA training include Way World Outreach, First Baptist Church of Redlands, Congregation Emanu El, The Gate, First Assembly of God-Victorville, and Mt. Zion Church of Ontario.
Jeffery and LaDonya Milner began a mental health ministry at Mt. Zion Church of Ontario three years ago and to date, have held six MHFA trainings for over 100 people. “Our goal is to educate people, reduce stigma and serve the community,” said LaDonya. “The training is so helpful and has been well received by the attendees. We have an 87-year old church member who has never missed a training! The Lord has blessed this ministry.”
“DBH applauds the hundreds of individuals throughout the County who’ve completed MHFA training,” said DBH Director Veronica Kelley. “DBH is proud to offer this training and others at no-cost to the community, made possible through funding provided by the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA).”
The MHSA was passed by California voters in November 2004 and is funded by a 1 percent tax surcharge on personal income over $1 million per year.
For more information on MHFA training, call (909) 388-0884 (7-1-1 for TTY users) or visit www.sbcounty.gov/dbh.