On January 16th 2020, 22 Loy Norrix students and two staff members will engage in youth mental health first aid training facilitated by the Integrated Services of Kalamazoo. During this training students will learn how to properly handle a teen mental health crisis, what resources to reach out to, and the proper actions to make sure everyone is emotionally and physically safe.
This training has been organized by the Mental Health Awareness Club, whose original purpose was to reduce stigma around mental health in our school.
Junior Kai Neve-Jones said that they applied to attend the training because, “People around me my entire life have had mental health issues, and people come to me for help. I want to be able to properly help.”
The training will take about eight hours, meaning students will stay past the normal school day hours to complete it. Students will complete exercises, activities and learn protocols that will aid in helping other teens who are struggling with mental health.
Anna Gutman, one of the teachers who helped organize the training said, “I firmly believe that we need to have open honest conversations about mental health in our community. Offering this training at Norrix is a way to do that. Also, so many students are asking for resources and ways to help themselves and others, this is one way we can support each other.”
The stigma against mental health conversations for teenagers creates an unhealthy culture of repressed emotions, which leads to negative coping mechanism, and no tools to deal with these perfectly normal feelings. This training is an opportunity to spread more capable students who can deal with these issues around Loy Norrix to aid the mental health issues in our community.