Project AWARE/Mental Health First Aid

As a part of the President Obama’s “Now Is the Time” initiative in response to school violence, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education) to expand the capacity of state and local educational agencies to increase awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues. As part of Project AWARE, Mental Health First Aid training is provided to help school personnel and other adults detect and respond to mental health issues in children and young adults, and connect children, youth and families who may have behavioral health issues with appropriate services.

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives participants the skills needed to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

More than 740,000 people across the United States have been trained in Mental Health First Aid by a dedicated base of more than 11,200 instructors.

Upstate Medical University and the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Hutchings Psychiatric Center were awarded a Project AWARE grant. Center for Civic Engagement Coordinator, Marnie Annese, MPH, CPH, is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor and will provide Mental Health First Aid training as part of the Project AWARE team. For upcoming training dates, check the Upstate HealthLink Events Calendar.

Read more: Upstate, Hutchings to receive $375,000 to train public in Mental Health First Aid