Health organization receives $ 625,000 for mental health training


The Arkansas Rural Health Partnership received $ 625,000 to address growing mental health issues.

The money will be used to provide mental health awareness training to college students and staff in the area.

The training will be delivered in coordination with Southeast Arkansas College, Phillips Community College and the University of Arkansas at Monticello, according to a press release.

Mental Health and Addiction Services Administration funding is designed to provide targeted training to people to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health crises and to connect people to needed resources.

ARHP is a nonprofit organization of 14 member rural hospitals, including sites in Southeast Arkansas.

The agency received one of 145 SAMHSA awards this month, the statement said.

SAMHSA funding will help ARHP staff deliver mental health first aid training, an evidence-based model, to professionals serving students, faculty, administrators, staff, coaches, staff health and athletes.

People in need of care will be referred to behavioral health services throughout the region.

Training and services will be provided in these Southeastern Arkansas counties: Jefferson, Lonoke, Prairie, Monroe, Lee, Phillips, Arkansas, Lincoln, Desha, Chicot, Drew, Bradley, Ashley, Union, Columbia, Ouachita , Dallas, Cleveland and Grant.

The funding is designed to provide targeted training to individuals to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health crises and connect them with the necessary resources, the statement said.

Amanda Kuttenkuler, director of the ARHP mental health awareness project, explained the expectations.

“The project will seek to achieve two goals: (1) increase the capacity of local college and healthcare partners to support and respond appropriately to the mental health needs of students, and (2) increase the number of students. students prepared in evidence. based on programs to recognize the mental health needs of their peers and connect them with the necessary resources, ”said Kuttenkuler. “Over the next five years, we will have the opportunity to train over 6,000 local students and those who serve students in mental health awareness and suicide prevention.” ARHP Executive Director Mellie B rid ewe ll discussed the benefits of the program.

“Our office has received many calls telling us that this training has already saved lives,” said Bridewell. “Imagine the impact: train one person and you get an incredible ripple effect. We are delighted to have further opportunities to share this information with local students and those who serve students in the region, especially as covid-19 has recently increased this need. Keith Pinchback, Ed.D., is Chancellor of Phillips Community College, one of the sites promoting the project.

“On behalf of Phillips College, we are delighted to be participating as one of three local partner colleges in this five-year project. Save Our Students will approach the challenge of growing student mental health issues from two critical perspectives: by training faculty, college administration and staff, as well as students themselves in awareness raising. mental health and suicide prevention, ”Pinchback said.

In 2016, ARHP conducted community health needs assessments for its member rural hospitals. The data unanimously prioritized behavioral health as the top concern.

ARHP members include Ashley County Medical Center, Baptist Health Stuttgart, Bradley County Medical Center, Chicot Memorial Medical Center, Dallas County Medical Center, Delta Memorial Hospital, DeWitt Hospital and Nursing Home, Drew Memorial Health System, Helena Regional Medical Center , Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Magnolia Regional Medical Center, McGehee Hospital, Medical Centers of South Arkansas and Ouachita Regional Medical Center as well as two federally qualified health systems (Mainline Health Systems and Mid Delta Health System).

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