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Mental Health Awareness Training

HealthAlliance Hospitals in Kingston and Margaretville Hospital in Margaretville, members of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), have joined forces with community-based organizations and local agencies to provide free “Youth Mental Health First Aid” trainings. A grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to HealthAlliance enables us to offer these important classes free of charge to the public.

Mental health first aid is an extension of the physical first-aid concept. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, mental health first aid is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use issues can be difficult for people without training to detect, and friends and family members may not know when and how to step in.

Participants in the Youth Mental Health First Aid Training at HealthAlliance will learn a five-step action plan that guides them through a process of reaching out and offering appropriate support. The evidence-based training helps participants:

  • Recognize youth’s most common mental health conditions
  • Increase social comfort with youth and other people experiencing a mental health challenge
  • Increase confidence in providing help to youth and others
  • Improve the training participants’ own mental health

The training is recommended for teachers, coaches, social workers, physicians, first responders, police officers, faith leaders, parents and other adults in regular contact with youth. But anyone 18 or older may take the class.

Trainings began earlier this year and will continue throughout 2021, mostly at HealthAlliance Hospitals in Kingston and Margaretville Hospital in Margaretville. But other venues in both Ulster and Delaware counties will be announced. For more information or to register for an upcoming training, please contact:

Adam Billingslea
Program Director for the Mental Health Awareness Trainings at HealthAlliance
Phone: 845.334.4959

Tracking Form for Mental Health First Aiders

If you have attended any of our trainings, we have created a survey form to track your referrals. Any time you make a referral, you simply come to this website, enter your credentials HERE, and briefly define the nature of your referral. The entire process should take less than a moment of your time, and can be done on your smartphone.