As a part of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is providing nationally-certified mental health training to Maryland’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
The training initiative aims to reach 20,000 students, faculty, and staff members over the next four years, focusing on four HBCUs — Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and University of Maryland Eastern Shore. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide was the third leading cause of death for Black Americans ages 15 to 24 in 2019. According to the 2021 Youth Pandemic Behavior Survey, in Maryland, Black students between the ages of 15 and 24 reported above-average instances of feeling sad or hopeless.
MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader noted how the training opportunity potentially benefits HBCU students in a press release:
“This Mental Health Awareness Month, we celebrate an important partnership that has the potential to identify and help address often unforeseen issues in the lives of students who attend these valued institutions,” said Secretary Schrader. “Mental Health First Aid Training is a nationally recognized program that expands the support for young people who are disproportionately experiencing behavioral health crises at a critical time of need.”