The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded Vibrant Emotional Health, formerly the Mental Health Association of New York City, a grant to train individuals to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, and establish new pathways for veterans, service members and their families to access services and supports for those in need.
The purpose of Veterans Mental Health First Aid Training is to:
1. Train individuals providing direct services to veterans to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, particularly serious mental illness and/or serious emotional disturbance;
2. Establish linkages community-based mental health agencies to refer individuals with the signs or symptoms of mental illness to appropriate services.
Veterans, service members, and military families face unique challenges when they or loved ones need behavioral health services. 31% of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan report mental health conditions and traumatic brain injury, yet fewer than half seek treatment (RAND, 2008).
“To increase access to and utilization of needed behavioral health services, it is necessary to enhance mental health awareness of veterans, service members and military families, as well as the non-clinical providers serving this population,” said Kimberly Williams, President of Vibrant. “We are excited to be working with IVMF to launch the first Mental Health First Aid training in early 2019 to staff of its public-private partnership, AmericaServes.”