One’s mental health is often not as prioritized as the physical body, yet they are closely connected. Taking care of one’s emotions, thoughts, and mental well-being is just as crucial as getting your yearly physical. However, many individuals with mental conditions are reluctant to seek help due to stigma, lack of access, and misinformation, unfortunately leading to delayed treatment, which develops into a crisis.
Health care leaders and policymakers at every level are becoming increasingly aware that communities need support to combat untreated mental illness and promote wellness and prevention.
Emergence Health Network, in partnership with the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, has developed the Mental Health Learning Library (MHLL). It provides foundational behavioral health education support free of charge for community members and local professionals. The training team offers the newest, most relevant evidence-based, and evidence-informed training modules. In addition, efforts are focused on accommodating anyone, anywhere, in Spanish and English, and multiple learning styles (in person, virtual or blended).
“We’re open to anybody in the community, whoever is interested in learning, and allow us to prepare them with the tools they need to help those in need to advance stigma reduction” said Luis Chavarria, Emergence Health Network director of training. “Part of our effort with the support of the Health Foundation has been to find ways to promote this type of education and higher learning to professionals in the area.”
Whether it is a comprehensive Mental Health First Aid course or targeted training on suicide prevention, grief management, or stress reduction, MHLL assists in recognizing signs and symptoms of behavioral health concerns and how to seek out appropriate services.
“The video demonstrations showing correct or incorrect ways to respond to a person experiencing a mental health challenge and addictions was most helpful,” said a recent participant attending one of the Mental Health First Aid training sessions. “It helped me see the situation from an outsider’s point of view instead of being in it so that when I encounter these types of situations, I can have a better perspective and plan on how to respond appropriately.”
The Mental Health Learning Library team has trained more than 10,000 participants in the area, such as law enforcement officers, social services professionals, educators, students and community members.
The Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s mission of improving the community’s overall health includes the mental well-being of the region. The Health Foundation looks to support frontline organizations, such as the Emergence Health Network and the Mental Health Learning Library, with the resources they need to make a positive impact in the community related to mental illness and ensure access to services for those most in need. To learn more about the Mental Health Learning Library, visit https://emergencehealthnetwork.org/mental-health/ or bit.ly/3ZDebyd.
Sandra Day is associate program officer for the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. She may be reached at 915-218-2617 and firstname.lastname@example.org.