Monday, June 24, 2024

Mental health first aid training coming to Chelsea High School

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CHELSEA, Ala. (WBRC) – A new mental health training program to save student lives is coming to Chelsea High School.

City, school and community leaders are partnering together on a program this fall they hope will stop teens from dying by suicide.

After four students at Chelsea High School committed suicide within a 15 month period, parents and city leaders got together to figure out ways to bring awareness to mental health and from there, the teen mental health first aid training program was created.

The teen mental health program will focus on training students on what to do if their peers are experiencing a mental health crisis.

“[It will teach them] how to approach them to talk about it, and if needed, how to get them help whether it’s finding them an adult they can talk to or getting them professional help,” said Cody Sumners, a National Alliance on Mental Illness board member.

This will be an optional program that students can sign up to take during the school year.

“It’s a 4.5 hour block of training and they are going to offer it the 1st, 2nd and 3rd nine weeks, and the students will be able to go to this training that one time,” Sumners said.

Compact and the addiction prevention coalition will be working with about 60 students per class from freshmen to seniors.

“We hope that we can encourage students and everybody to talk about mental health issues and get rid of the stigma and understand that everybody is dealing with something it may not be the same thing your dealing with but we need to have a little bit of compassion, look out for each and make things work,” Sumners said.

The city of Chelsea, the Shelby County Board of Education, Chelsea Mental Health Action Committee, and more have been working to get this program started.

Their goal is to spread the program to other school systems in the county.

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