Highland Medical Center to Hold Mental Health Workshop

When mental health issues lead to tragic circumstances, family, friends and community members are often left wishing they had been able to do more to recognize the signs and offer assistance. An upcoming workshop sponsored by The Highland Medical Center and Valley Community Services Board seeks to address these needs. Sandy Stinnett,  a child and adolescent therapist for the medical center explained more.

“We’re here today to talk about a very important workshop that’s coming to The Medical Center. It’s called Youth Mental Health First Aid, and it’s a program that is designed to help people in the community know what to do or what to say if they have concerns that a friend or a neighbor or someone they’ve come in contact(with) may have mental health issues, or may be thinking about suicide.

“I know one of the things that has happened to me personally over the last few years is as we have had difficult situations that the community has had to deal with, people will come up to me and say “Sandy, I wish I knew what to say, or I wish I had known what to look for before something happened.” That’s what this workshop is designed to provide. It’s to provide eyes and ears in the community, to help all of our community members, but particularly our youth. So we will be talking about things like how do you approach someone if you have a concern; what do you say if someone approaches you with that concern; what are the immediate steps that you need to take to protect those people and make sure that they are safe; and what are the secondary steps you take to make sure that they get the help that they need, the professional help.  It’s designed to give pastors, youth leaders, sports coaches, parents, grandparents, the skills that they need to feel more comfortable in directly addressing concerns about mental health.”

“The workshop is schedule for Wednesday, April 20th, at the Medical Center. It will run from 8:30 in the morning until 5:30 in the evening, so it’s a full day. It is free to the public, although we do have to have pre-registration. Lunch will be provided by the Medical Center, and the training will be done by staff at Valley Community Services Board.”

The deadline for registration is Friday, April 15th. For more information, you can contact the Center at 540-468-6435.

“All you need to do is call the Medical Center. Vickie Hoover, who’s the secretary for Behavioral Health, will take the information that she needs, and let you know where to come and what to do.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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