Stemming the Mental Health Awareness Deficit

The Problem:

20 percent of adults will experience a mental illness in a given year in the United States, and not every adult suffering from a mental illness will be surrounded by the necessary tools and resources to overcome or manage their illness. The stigmas and erroneous beliefs surrounding mental illness often leads to negative outcomes.  

The Goal:

SC Thrive has created a program, Mental Health First Aid, to increase mental health literacy and help individuals within the community identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness. 

Method & Implementation:

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that provides individuals with the skills to help someone developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis. During this course, participants are given actions plan that will be useful in a variety of situations, such as suicidal thought or behaviors, psychosis and alcohol or drug overdose.  

Mental Health First Aid is intended for all people and organizations within their communities. Health care providers, state agencies, community-based organizations, first responders, law enforcement and faith-based organizations are just a few of the sectors that have been trained by SC Thrive. 

Results:

Within four years, SC Thrive has trained over 2,356 individuals in Mental Health First Aid.  Also, 19% of the 78 Mental Health First Aid instructors in South Carolina were certified in partnership with SC Thrive.

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