Panhandle Behavior Health Alliance receives a $5,000 grant from Superior HealthPlan to provide Mental Health First Aid classes.
This grant allows PBHA to improve prevention and early intervention practices related to Behavioral Health. PBHA is a local collaboration of community organizations and agencies that are both for-profit and non-profit as well as consumers and their family members who are impacted by mental, behavioral, and addiction issues.
Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based, early intervention that assists people experiencing a mental health crisis. Classes teach people how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders, providing the skills needed to give initial help and support. Evaluations consistently show that MHFA training is associated with improved knowledge of mental illnesses and their treatments, knowledge of appropriate first aid strategies, and confidence in providing first aid to individuals with mental illness, benefits which are maintained over time. Some studies have also shown improved mental health in those who attend the training, decreases in stigmatizing attitudes and increases in the amount and type of support provided to others. Grant funding would be used to waive the costs associated with the training thus removing the cost barrier for some individuals and organizations.
The United Way of Amarillo & Canyon has a long history of providing funding and partnership to programs that address Behavioral Health needs. Last year, UWAC volunteered to be the fiscal sponsor & supporter for the PBHA, allowing their team of staff and volunteers to focus on programs and service gaps in our community. UWAC is pleased to be part of this exciting work that will serve as an example for similar efforts around the State.