Mental Health First Aid – Veterans and Higher Education: Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (KCMHSAS) will provide Mental Health First Aid-USA (MHFA) training for 2 populations of focus: 1) veterans/military service members and their families and 2) young adults (18-25 years old) at risk for Serious Mental Illness (SMI).
Strategy: MHFA training will include MHFA for Military members, Veterans and their Families provided in collaboration with organizations comprising the Veteran Community Action Team. MHFA for Higher Education will be provided in collaboration with higher education institutions.
Population of Focus: There are 14,625 veterans in Kalamazoo County. Military culture and experience result in unique needs and risk factors (higher suicide rates, trauma and stress related disorders) addressed in this project. There are 31,807 young adults (age 18-25) in Kalamazoo County. There are 35,000 students enrolled in the 3 major higher education institutions in Kalamazoo. Young adults are vulnerable to emerging SMI conditions, putting them at risk of poor outcomes. These risk factors are addressed in this project.
Number served: In Year 1, 150 individuals trained; Years 2 and 3, 300 individuals trained for a total of 750 by the end of Year 3.
Goal 1: Increase capacity of individuals in contact with veterans/military service members to recognize and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness.
Objective a: By end of year 3, 2 veteran focused organizations will partner with KCMHSAS to plan, implement, and recruit for MHFA trainings.
Objective b: By the end of year 3, 5 Mental Health First Aid – Veterans trainings will have been provided to 125 people.
Goal 2: Increase capacity of individuals in contact with young adults to recognize and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness.
Objective a: By end of year 3, 3 higher education focused institutions will partner with KCMHSAS to plan, implement, and recruit for MHFA trainings.
Objective b: By the end of year 3, 15 Mental Health First Aid – Higher Education trainings will have been provided to 375 people.
Goal 3: Broaden the impact of MHFA in the community through outreach and engagement strategies.
Objective a: By end of year 1, written and electronic material regarding resources, supports, and referral processes will be developed and disseminated for MHFA trained individuals.
Objective b: By end of year 1, KCMHSAS will track referrals from MHFA trained individuals.
Objective c: By the end of year 3, 10 Mental Health First Aid community trainings will be provided to 250 people within 5 types of stakeholder/audience groups in Kalamazoo County representative of the diversity of the populations of focus.