Heather Dolne, a Research Associate at the Indiana Prevention Resource Center with the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington, has received a 3-year, $375,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
This project will focus on increasing the capacity for, and awareness of, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to better serve youth, college populations, emergency services recipients, and veterans in Monroe County.
The goal of this project (which also includes Courtney Olcott, Jasynda Radanovich, and Albert Gay) is to reduce rates of depression, suicide, substance abuse, violence and other behavioral health concerns by providing specialized training to individuals and organizational partners who interact with these groups. In addition to the training, the project also seeks to improve access to mental health services by setting up a referral system and increasing the awareness of all available resources.
“We are excited to utilize our skills and expertise to promote mental health awareness to a variety of populations within Monroe County,” Dolne said. “The importance of mental health cannot be overstated. Our goal is to train many individuals from all walks of life in Mental Health First Aid and for them to become aware of the impacts of mental health problems to help reduce stigma and encourage access to appropriate resources.”
As part of the project, an evidence-based social marketing and awareness campaign will be launched to help decrease the stigma of mental illness and increase the awareness of the need for culturally appropriate services for the targeted population groups.
SAMHSA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.