The Santa Cruz County Mental Health Awareness Training Project will utilize a wide array of evidence-based strategies and approaches to meet the goals and community awareness an training objectives proposed by SAMHSA and NIH as well as targeted action items related to addressing the role of trauma in our community and enhancing trauma-informed and culturally sensitive approaches. In the first year of this project 2,400 individuals will be trained in mental health awareness and stigma reduction. Constructing Circles of Peace is proposing the Santa Cruz County Mental Health Awareness Training Project to fully implement the strategies and goals of the SAMHSA Mental Health Awareness Training Grant to veteran's, adults, parents, educators, and youth in Santa Cruz County, Arizona. Constructing Circles of Peace has a long -standing history of actively collaborating with other coalitions and community agencies across the county, state of Arizona and across the nation. Since 2004 Circles of Peace has been at the cutting edge of implementing holistic, trauma informed approaches and strategies to substance abuse prevention, treatment, support and recovery.
Training and services will be delivered throughout Santa Cruz County, Arizona - a predominately Latino community in the southeastern corner of Arizona on the U. S. - Mexico border and home to Arizona's largest international border town of Nogales.
Goals of this program will be to: Increase the capacity of individuals to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental disorders, particularly serious emotional disturbances (SED) among school-aged youth and serious mental illness (SMI) in veterans, victims of domestic violence and individuals with an SUD. Increase the capacity of local systems and individuals in those systems to utilize safe and developmentally appropriate responses when interacting with individuals displaying symptoms of mental illness. Decrease youth and adult untreated mental health and suicide rates by increasing awareness of community-based resources and improving cross-sector collaboration on school - and community-based referral processes. Decrease youth mental health and suicide rates by implementing evidence-based programs that improve resiliency and foresters supportive perspectives and responses among youth, parents/caregivers and systems that serve youth and families.
Evidence based programs and frameworks to be utilized throughout this project will include Mental Health First Aid, Youth Mental Health First Aid, Kids at hope Model, ACES and Trauma, Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), Trauma Informed Care Approach (TIC), Restorative Justice Circle Model (RJ), and Mindfulness Based Interventions.
For the subsequent four years of the project, we intend to use our evaluation findings at the end of this cycle to inform the next iteration of the action plan, but will at minimum, continue to train 1,450 community members each year in mental health awareness and stigma reduction.