New mental health educational programs for schools, law enforcement agencies and homeless

It’s so awesome to be able to report some good news when it comes to mental health awareness.

Here in Orange County, FL it was announced that classes designed to educate students in mental and emotional health issues will begin this month. Check out this local news story from ClickOrlando.com.

Even though this is a giant leap ahead there may already be some setbacks. According to this news story from News 13 any classroom teacher will be able to teach the classes. At least one teacher has expressed concern about this and has suggested that the classes be taught by teachers with more specialized training in mental health. Also, there seems to be no penalty for students who do not attend the classes for whatever reason nor is it clear that there will an opportunity for them to make up the classes. As with any new program there are always kinks to be worked out.

At the same time, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office recently announced a push to have more officers receive mental health training. In the aftermath of the Stoneman Douglas shooting all school resource officers are required to have mental health training as well. The issue now seems to be meeting the demand for all these mental health classes to take place. One only hopes that much needed improvement will happen. Read more about it in this Channel 9 article.

Finally, a few months ago it was announced that there would also be new programs rolling out to address mental health and housing issues amongst the homeless, particularly homesless veterans (ClickOrlando news article). Anyone familiar with Orlando will know that we have a surprisingly colossal population of homessless people here in Orlando. It actually reminds me a lot of how New York City used to be in the 80s and 90s until they worked with incredibly fervor to address the problem. The same needs to happen here.

One thing I have issue with though is that the focus will be on veterans. No doubt, veterans need this help but hopefully the program will also include non-veterans as well. Addiction and mental health issues seem to be two of the largest factors in why a person becomes homeless.

Hopefully though, a new decade will bring new hope that big changes are on the horizon when it comes to mental health awareness and education. If you know of similar programs happening in your neck of the woods please feel free to share it in the comments.

More mental health topics
Abusive relationships: Stop irrationally seeking approval
It’s not all in your mind: Mental health and physical pain

17 comments

  1. Glad to read these issues finally are getting some attention, JoAnn.

    While obviously nowhere near a panacea, the approaches you’ve described should have a dual benefit, namely, giving the afflicted a clue – at last – they don’t suffer alone, and giving the rest a greater sensitivity.

    Not just rainbows-and-sunshine feel-good gestures, one hopes, but the necessary first steps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No doubt, nothing ever is or will ever be perfect. We just don’t live in that kind of world. Hopefully though, the kids of future generations will have more options for getting help. Thanks for your comments, as always. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s fantastic news. I’ve said for years that Mental Health ought to be on the curriculum. However, I do believe that any teaching ought to be carried out by a trained and skilled mental health professional. I know you have Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses for Instructors in the States, though not sure if it’s in your area.

    I loved training college and uni students in MHFA Egland.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes I totally agree. I think all teachers should still have the training though. Hopefully the days of letting the kids work all that out on their own (as it was when I was growing up) are coming to an end. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes, the teachers definitely need the training. But unfortunately they then become responsible for their students’ mental health too, along with being social workers, teachers, etc. I really feel for teachers — my son was one for 5 five years, Head of Biology after one year, then Head of the whole Science Department at the age of 26. He was always under so much pressure and I’m glad he left and is now a Physiotherapist.

        Liked by 2 people

        • That’s a good point. Teachers have to wear a lot of hats these days and in many cases don’t get paid what they deserve. Unfortunately that’s becoming the norm for a lot of employers. They try to get people to do the work of two or three people to save on labor costs. 😕
          Convinces me even more that they should have specialized teachers to teach the mental health classes.

          Like

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