AHECWW offers Mental Health First Aid trainings for professionals and community members throughout western Washington. Trainings for summer are being scheduled.
Trainings consist of a full 8-hour day (usually from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm) with a lunch break. Those who successfully complete the full day are eligible for a Mental Health First Aid certificate issued by the National Council for Behavioral Health. The certificate remains valid for three years. Class size is limited to 30, and, through grant funding from the State Department of Health, the trainings are often offered free of charge (value $170). The class is great for people of all backgrounds. Students in allied health courses of study are encouraged to consider this training.
There are two main certification levels: one for adults who interact with youth (Youth Mental Health First Aid) and one for adults generally (Mental Health First Aid).
Continuing Education Credits
AHECWW provides certificates to document Continuing Education (CE) credits for attendees. The National Council for Behavioral Health reports that dentists, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are eligible to receive continuing education credits (CEUs) for all Adult Mental Health First Aid courses. The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has approved the Adult Mental Health First Aid course for a total of 8.0 contact hours, or 0.8 CEUs.
Why Mental Health First Aid?
- Enroll in a Mental Health First Aid course to learn a five-step action plan to help loved ones, colleagues, neighbors and others cope with mental health or substance use problems.
- Similar to traditional First Aid and CPR, Mental Health First Aid is help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a crisis until professional treatment is obtained or the crisis resolves.
- Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based public education and prevention tool – it improves the public’s knowledge of mental health and substance use problems and connects people with care for their mental health or substance use problems.
Mental Health First Aid is a project of the National Council for Behavioral Health
Why mental health first aid? Mental Health First Aid was originally created in Australia in 2001 under the auspices of the University of Melbourne, and is now international with programs in countries such as the United Kingdom, China, Canada, Finland and Singapore.
The National Council for Behavioral Health – a national trade group with more than 2,500 member organizations serving millions of Americans nationwide – helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the United States in 2008 with the goal of making it as common as traditional First Aid and CPR are today.
The Palliative Care Institute at Western Washington University participated in the Northwest Life Passages Coalition to draft a blueprint to transform palliative care in Whatcom County and support our human responses to living and dying. The Institute's goal is to create a healing community by providing a space where people living with serious illnesses or facing the end of life don’t have to be cured to heal. AHECWW partners with the Institute to build on collaborations among those both inside and outside of the medical industry, reclaiming palliative care as a community responsibility.
The Palliative Care Institute, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, the Chuckanut Health Foundation, and community activists host an annual event to encourage advance care planning across all decades, including college-aged students. A video recording of presentations from the 2017 event is available at Palliative Care 101.
Visit the Washington State Department of Health's publications page for a list of resources on topics related to individuals with disabilities and special health care needs, including an Autism guidebook for Washington State, information on childhood hearing loss, and more.
Publications from the Dept of Health
The Washington State Department of Health has a wide variety of publications available on hundreds of topics. Visit their website to see a categorized list of topics and/or request publications.
Special Healthcare Needs
The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) features Celebrating Our Magic, a toolkit for American Indian/Alaska Native youth who identify as transgender and Two-Spirit, their relatives, and healthcare providers. The goal of the publication is to increase access to healthcare and reduce disparities among transgender youth and to increase awareness and capacity among tribal healthcare providers.
If a child has Medicaid and needs assistance with activities of daily living beyond what their same-age peers require, they can qualify for personal care. This is called the Specialized Case Load at Developmental Disabilities Administration. Find out more on the basics on Personal Care Services here.
The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) has developed a compendium of all Rural Opioid Educational Resources available at their website to aid individuals looking for education, tools, and other resources. This includes reports, webinar presentations, meeting presentations, and a compendium of resources and lessons learned from grantees of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy’s Rural Opioid Overdose Reversal (ROOR) grant program. As new resources become available, more information will be added.
Confident Action and Referral by Educators (CARE) is a web-based course to provide educators and other school staff guidance to help students who may be going through difficult times. The program is designed to give educators the tools and confidence to identify students who may be at risk for emotional or behavioral distress, including suicide, substance use, violence, and sexual abuse. The course is a free, one-hour, online module that meets the criteria set forth by RCW 28A.320.127 which requires educators receive training on how to recognize and respond to students experiencing emotional or behavioral distress. CARE may be taken individually or in a group, and a Facilitator Guide is provided to guide staff through the specific examples, discussion questions, additional resources, and role play exercises. Join here: k12.wa.us/CAREModule.