A new state program will train people who frequently work with children and adolescents how best to recognize and respond to mental disorders. The initiative was created as a result of landmark gun legislation Gov. Malloy signed into law last month and is part of an effort at both the state and national level to improve mental health first aid in schools. Early intervention, advocates say, can help prevent tragedies that result from undiagnosed mental health disorders.
“Making mental health training more easily accessible will prepare primary care professionals, families, school personnel and educators to identify and understand students in crisis, improve early intervention when students are displaying disturbing or threatening behavior in schools and ensure these young people receive the treatment they require,” said Malloy.
At the end of May, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services will hold a five-day training program to certify 30 people. Once certified, those individuals will teach Mental Health First Aid in communities across the state to teachers, social workers and other “interested parties.”