Coastal Horizons, the primary provider of mental health and substance use prevention and treatment services in Southeastern North Carolina, will deliver evidence-based mental health awareness training to teachers and school personnel who interact with children/youth in a school setting, representatives from law enforcement and juvenile justice, primary care providers, and the general public who interact with children or youth with a serious emotional disturbance (SED), adults with severe mental illness (SMI) and those with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (COD). Training will be conducted in New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender, Bladen and Columbus Counties. The project will be known as the Coastal Horizons Center Mental Health Awareness Project.
The goals and objectives of the proposed project are as follows:
Goal 1: Implement in-person evidence-based mental health awareness training to assist members of the community in recognizing the signs and symptoms of mental illness and to respond appropriately. Objective 1: Develop a mental health awareness training plan to increase mental health awareness and literacy for teachers and relevant school personnel, law enforcement, DJJ, and primary care providers. Objective 2: Implement the plan by delivering Mental Health First Aid for Adults and Youth to address and recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, providing de-escalation techniques for crisis/non-crisis situations, and assisting those trained with information on mental health resources/services to link individuals with mental health issues with these resources.
Goal 2: Identify resources and supports for the individuals being trained specific to their catchment county so they may assist the population who will be served in getting connected to needed services. Objective 1: Research and compile information on mental health resources/services within the catchment areas. Objective 2: Refine and obtain information and develop written and electronic materials for those trained to link the individuals who will be served, particularly those with SMI and/or SED, to services.
Goal 3: Establish referral mechanisms that increase the ability of the individuals trained in mental health awareness training to refer and link the population of focus to mental health resources/services. Objective 1: Provide coordinated referral, services, and follow-up to those who will be served for evidence-based school- and community-based mental health resources and services. Coastal Horizons will establish a referral link for screening/assessment on its website as a mechanism to increase accessibility to services/treatment. Objective 2: Establish relationships with local businesses, and community groups to broaden and link community resources/supports to the population of focus.
The proposed project will train 250 individuals annually with a total of 1,250 throughout the five-year project.