Pettengill House Receives Grant to Offer Mental Health First Aid Training 


Feb. 14, 2018 -- The Pettengill House is pleased to announce they have received a grant award from The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation to provide a nationally acclaimed eight-hour Mental Health First Aid certification course. The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation supports community programming that results in children, adolescents, and young adults affected by substance use disorders, learning disabilities, mental illness, and intellectual disabilities achieving their full potential. The Foundation is dedicated to societal impact through healthy communities and capacity building. Their generous grant enables The Pettengill House to offer this groundbreaking Mental Health First Aid course, which gives participants the tools to be able to recognize when someone might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem and connect them with appropriate support and resources when necessary. The course will be offered in partnership with Lahey Behavioral Health Services, a leading provider of mental health and substance use treatment and outreach counseling to local families, children, and schools.

One in five American adults has a mental illness, but many are reluctant to seek help, or might not know where to turn for care. Symptoms of mental illness and substance addiction can be difficult to detect. Just as CPR helps even those without clinical training assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid prepares participants to interact with a person experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

“Through this program, we hope to take the fear and hesitation out of starting conversations about mental health and substance use problems,” said Linda Rosenberg, President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, which helped bring Mental Health First Aid to the U.S. in 2008. “When more people are equipped with the tools they need to start a dialogue, more people can get the help they may need.”

In just ten years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States—more than 550,000 people are certified in Mental Health First Aid, and that number is growing every day.

Deb Smith, Executive Director of The Pettengill House, stated “We are so grateful to the Tower Foundation for their support and partnership to bring this training to our communities at such a critical time when mental health and substance addiction are at crisis levels.” The course will be made available to community partners of The Pettengill House, including educators, community groups, public health and safety departments, nonprofits, and others from the nine cities and towns comprising the Pettengill service area.

Additional Information
Mental Health First Aid:
Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation: