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Grant Provides Mental Health First Aid Training

The St. Joseph Health Department is celebrating a $20,000 grant. The money will fund mental health first aid training for people in Northwest Missouri.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) When a person has a heart attack, or some form of an emergency medical accident, you typically know what to do. But, what happens if someone has a mental health crisis?

Debra Bradley, from the St. Joseph Health Department, spoke about the importance of knowing what to do in that kind of situation.

"We want to train people and educate people not to be afraid of it, but know how to respond," said Bradley.

The Northwest Missouri Medical Reserve Corps received a $20,000 grant, through the Challenge Award, from the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

The grant will fund mental health first aid training throughout Northwest Missouri.

"The focus will be to train first responders like law enforcement, fire, ambulance, paramedics," said Bradley.

Missouri Governor, Jay Nixon, recently announced a budget that included a $20 million investment to help community colleges, and universities, train 1,200 mental health professionals.

"From teaching a child with Autism how to interact with peers, from helping law enforcement respond to individuals with mental health crisis," said Gov. Nixon.

"Missouri is one of the leading states in addressing mental health needs. Fortunately, Gov. Nixon is making it a priority," said Bradley.

The St. Joseph Health Department is excited about the money and resources now available to fund mental health trainings.

Employees said the main goal is to identify mental health illnesses early, and get the necessary help for those who suffer from it.

"We believe that by empowering our community, we are also building resilience in making our community better as a whole," said Bradley.

"These health professionals will help keep our community safe, and make sure all Missourians make sure they have the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential," said Gov. Nixon.

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