This week, the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing announced a new partnership to make Mental Health First Aid available to county employees. Since the onset of the pandemic, county elected officials and staff have served on the front lines.
This new partnership will help enhance the county workforce’s mental health and wellbeing while reducing stigmas associated with mental health and substance use challenges.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a skills-based training administered by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, teaches people how to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges in their peers, friends, and colleagues.
According to NACo:
WHY MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?
To help the National Association of Counties (NACo) realize its vision of creating healthy, safe, and vibrant counties across America, the National Council for Mental Wellbeing and NACo are partnering to offer crucial MHFA training to county employees in the communities they serve. In addition, the National Council-NACo partnership will support elected officials and county staff who are asking for help with their mental health and wellbeing. And, by extension, create a framework for counties to destigmatize mental health and substance use issues as they provide community residents with more equitable access to quality mental health and substance use treatment services.
WHAT MHFA COVERS
- Noticing signs and symptoms of substance use and mental health challenges.
- Navigating difficult conversations about mental health.
- Knowing that recovery is possible – and how to support it.
- Tackling mental health stigma in the workplace.
- Understanding principles of safety and privacy. Building resilience and strategies to alleviate burnout.
- Implementing a 5-step MHFA Action Plan.
- Reinforcing relevant Employee Resource Groups,employee benefits and HR initiatives
WHO SHOULD TAKE IT
- County employees at all levels, including elected officials and county staff across all departments and organizations.
- Human resources and benefits partners, senior leaders and front-line managers.
- First responders including law enforcement, corrections officers, fire and EMS services
- Hospital and nursing home staff
- School teachers, administrators and youth-serving staff