FPHSA Partners With Local Agencies to Bring Mental Health First Aid Training Certification Course to First Responders
Florida Parishes Human Services Authority (FPHSA) partnered with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) - St. Tammany, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, and Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office to facilitate a five-day Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Public Safety Train the Trainer certification course for local sheriff’s offices, police departments, and Fire/EMS departments from Livingston, St. Helena, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Washington Parishes. The course, currently underway at The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Training and Educational Facility in the Pearl River area, is offered at no cost to these agencies.
Richard J. Kramer, Executive Director of Florida Parishes Human Services Authority, said of the training “I’m really excited to see such great participation from all of the departments across our region. It demonstrates the commitment that the leadership at these various agencies have to improving their abilities to safely respond to mental health crises in our communities. I am pleased to have been able to be a part of this effort.”
The FPHSA funded training, taught by two nationally certified MHFA instructors/retired law enforcement officers, teaches about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses and how to effectively intervene to ensure safety of both the responder as well as the individual involved during a mental health crisis call. Upon completion, participants in the training are certified as MHFA for Public Safety instructors, and can teach this same course to other officers or first responders within their departments.
FPHSA had participation from the following agencies: Washington Parish Sheriff's Office; St.Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office; Livingston Parish Sheriff; Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office; Covington Police Department (Covington, LA); St. Tammany Fire Protection District #1 /Slidell Fire Department; City Of Covington Fire Department; Denham Springs Police Department; Acadian Ambulance; Southeastern Louisiana University Police Department; Greensburg Police Department; and the Louisiana Office of Probation and Parole.