Project AWARE

Hamilton Center is seeking individuals interested in Youth Mental Health First Aid training. The organization received grant monies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund a program called Project AWARE. The program will increase mental health literacy in adults who interact with adolescents.

Hamilton Center is hosting a “train the trainer” course April 25th – 29th to train 30 adults from community-based, youth-serving organizations in first aid for youth mental health. In turn, these individuals will train 3,000 adults by 2018 in the following counties: Clay, Greene, Hendricks, Marion, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo.

The goal of Project AWARE is to equip participants with skills to recognize when youth are exhibiting signs of a mental health crisis and know how to approach the situation.

In January 2013, President Obama created a national plan – “Now is the Time” – which combined executive action and calls for legislative action that would, among other goals, increase access to mental health services. Project AWARE is part of this plan.

Janet Rose, project coordinator, says the benefits of Project AWARE will allow those who work with the youth population the ability to discern mental health issues.  “Our children are facing more complex issues today compared to previous generations. We have to make a concentrated effort with our youth to get the best mental health care and awareness we can provide.”

The Indiana Youth Institute estimates that one-in-five Hoosier adolescents have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Adolescents with mental health problems are at a higher risk for substance abuse, suicide, and other dangerous or destructive behaviors.

“Hamilton Center is grateful to have this opportunity. As a community, we need to increase awareness of mental health issues in our youth population. Project AWARE will play a significant role in assisting those who serve our youth to better identify these situations,” said Melvin L. Burks, CEO, Hamilton Center.

For more information about upcoming trainings for Youth Mental Health First Aid or Project AWARE, contact Janet Rose 812-231-8129 or jrose@hamiltoncenter.org.

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