Second Wave of Staff Trained in Mental Health First Aid

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Funded by a three-year grant, the Riverhead Central School District held a second wave of training on April 16 as part of its goal to train all staff in mental health first aid. 

During the training, more than 30 staff members from Riley Avenue Elementary School learned to identify, understand and respond to critical signs of mental health distress and connect someone in distress with mental health information services. 

The project was brought to the district by Eileen Manitta, director of pupil personnel services and special education, and is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in collaboration with the Association for Mental Health and Wellness. The grant provides for a total of 36 eight-hour trainings to ensure the entire school community is certified in mental health first aid. 

The courses are taught by Alexis Rodgers, a mental health first aid certified trainer, and Sandra Hopkins-Ouedraogo, project director of the Mental Health Awareness Training Project.