ConnectME to Better Mental Health
Sweetser is committed to promoting and providing mental health training to community members across the State of Maine in order to teach the skills to respond to signs of mental illness and substance use. Sweetser will provide Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to individuals to recognize emerging mental health issues and equip them with the knowledge to respond most appropriately. Sweetser will provide Psychological First Aid (PFA) training to individuals who are in roles that respond to and manage traumatic events, such as first responders. As part of these efforts, Sweetser will develop and implement a social marketing mental health awareness campaign to reduce the stigma related to mental health conditions and provide a centralized location for resource identification.
Through its Brunswick, Maine office, Sweetser will provide MHFA and PFA within parts of Androscoggin, northern coastal Cumberland, Penobscot, Sagadahoc, Waldo and York Counties. Sweetser will collaborate with schools, college personnel, public safety personnel, parents, caregivers, public housing personnel, and Veterans/Military to provide free evidenced-based trainings. Sweetser will serve 620 individuals annually with a total goal of serving 3,100 individuals for the term of the grant.
Sweetser has five primary goals:
Goal #1: Increase the number of individuals in our communities with the capacity to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and de-escalation skills by the provision of MHFA training. Objective: Sweetser will train teachers and relevant school personnel in MHFA-Youth. Objective: Sweetser will train parents and caregivers of youth in MHFA-Youth. Objective: Sweetser will train public staff staff in MHFA-Law Enforcement. Objective: Sweetser will train public housing personnel in MHFA-Youth and MHFA-Adult. Objective: Sweetser will train veterans, family members, and active military in MHFA-Veterans. Objective: Sweetser will train secondary school personnel and Resident Assistants in MHFA-Adult.
Goal #2: Increase the number of individuals in our communities with the capacity to respond to traumatic events, identify signs of trauma, and develop skills for wellness by the provision of PFA and follow-up trainings. Objective: Sweetser will train teachers and relevant school personnel in PFA. Objective: Sweetser will train veterans in PFA.
Goal #3: Increase the number of youth, adults, veterans, and others who receive mental health support and treatment.
Goal #4: Increase the number of community individuals who have access to the free and confidential online wellness tool myStrength. Objective: Connect individuals to self-help and wellness resources in myStrength to promote awareness, resiliency, and wellness.
Goal #5: Increase awareness of mental illness by implementation of an evidenced-based social marketing campaign. Objectives: reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, increase knowledge and information about resources, and promote skills to identify and prevent suicide.