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Centerstone Expands Mental Health First Aid USA Training

Mental Health First Aid Youth curriculum addresses mental health problems in adolescents

Nashville, Tenn. – Centerstone, one of the nation’s leading not-for-profit providers of community- based mental health and addiction services, today announced the expansion of its Mental Health First Aid USA training to include a curriculum identifying the unique behavioral health issues of youth, ages 12-25. Centerstone has offered Mental Health First Aid USA addressing adult behavioral health issues since 2011. The new program teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing expanding mental health challenges.

The certification course, intended for adults who regularly interact with adolescents, follows a five step action plan:

  • Assess for risk of suicide of harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Susan Gillpatrick, a Centerstone Crisis Management Specialist, who primarily works with clients in critical incident response situations and in Centerstone’s wellness trainings, completed Instructor Certification training in April 2013 and will teach the eight-hour course.

“Parents, teachers, coaches and other professionals know how to recognize the symptoms of physical illness in children and adolescents – a fever, a broken bone. But mental health disorders cannot be measured or cured with a thermometer or casts,” said Gillpatrick. “President Obama endorsed Mental Health First Aid training as a means to help protect our communities. Teachers, employers and adults who regularly interact with young people can learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and know how to respond in a crisis through this training. Historically there has been no routine training for adults to know how to identify or handle mental disorders. We are pleased to be able to offer this service and hope that through this course we can help others be aware of mental illness symptoms in youth and help them find appropriate professional treatment.”

If you would like Ms. Gillpatrick to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid Training at your school, organization or business, please contact her at 615-202-2580 or by e-mail at susan.gillpatrick@centerstone.org.

About Centerstone

Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization, has provided a wide range of mental health and addiction services to people of all ages for more than 55 years. Through more than 50 facilities and 160 partnership locations across Middle Tennessee, Centerstone serves 50,000 children, adolescents, adults and seniors each year. Centerstone is accredited by CARF International and a member organization of the National Football League’s NFL Life Line. For more information about Centerstone, please call 888-291-4357 or visit www.centerstone.org.

About Susan Gillpatrick, MEd, LPC, CTS

Susan Gillpatrick, Centerstone Crisis Management Specialist, primarily works in the field with clients in critical incident response situations, and in Centerstone’s wellness trainings and presentations. She is also responsible for planning and implementing marketing and growth strategies for Centerstone’s Crisis Management Strategies.

Susan Gillpatrick is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified Trauma Specialist, Certified MHFA and YMHFA Instructor, Certified Workplace Conflict Mediator, and Mental Health Service Provider in the state of Tennessee and a National Certified Counselor. She is also a member the American Counseling Association, the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, the Tennessee Mental Health Counseling Association, and the Middle Tennessee Employee Assistance Professionals Association. She is a frequent presenter at local and national conferences, and has had numerous articles published. She received her Master of Education degree in Human Development Counseling from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University.