Breakthroughs: The Leadership Palm Beach County Summit brought together 300 leaders from private, public and nonprofit sectors to understand three important issues: jobs for ex-offenders, internships for students, and mental health in the workplace.  The minute the summit ended, the clock started ticking on a 100-day “rapid results” process for dedicated core teams to work toward specific goals:

  • 100 commitments to provide jobs to ex-offenders
  • 100 commitments to provide internships in the trades for high school students
  • 100 human resources professionals committed to taking the Mental Health First Aid(MHFA) course

Palm Healthcare Foundation and Quantum Foundation joined together to sponsor the Breakthroughs Summit in support of mental health in the workplace.  More than a quarter of employees report some level of depression or anxiety.  It’s the reason many workers fail to perform well at their jobs, costing companies over $80 billion a year in productivity losses. The Mental Health First Aid course helps employees identify when a person is in crisis by teaching them how to understand mental illness. The course trains employees on how to aid in timely intervention, which can ultimately save lives.

Alpert JFS is pleased to announce that this lofty goal of 100 HR Professionals was not only reached, but exceeded. We were able to train 109 HR Professionals in Mental Health First Aid, with a collective reach of over 10,000 employees.

“We are incredibly pleased with the results of the Leadership Palm Beach initiative. Knowing that so many human resource professionals have committed to taking this critical training means that our business community has taken a significant step in safeguarding and combatting mental health crises, both in the workplace and in their non-work lives.”  –Cindy Wides, Mental Health First Aid Director of Community Outreach and Leader of MHFA’s Palm Beach County Coalition.

More than a quarter of employees report some level of depression or anxiety.  It’s the reason many workers fail to perform well at their jobs, costing companies as much as $225 billion a year in productivity losses.  Many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Mental Health First Aid helps employees take care of each other by understanding mental illnesses, supporting timely intervention, and saving lives.

One in five Americans has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. For friends and family members, it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get them until it is too late.

Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

“Through this program, we hope to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems,” says Linda Rosenberg President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. in 2008. “When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need.”

In just ten years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States—more than 1 million people are certified Mental Health First Aiders, and that number is growing every day.

For more information about Mental Health First Aid training, please contact Cindy Wides, Director of Mental Health First Aid at Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service, [email protected].

 

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