FIRST THINGS FIRST
Pictured above are some of the EPS staff members who participated in the Mental Health First Aid Training offered at Everett High School during the February vacation. The district graduated two cohorts totaling 34 employees who obtained a three-year certification to provide Mental Health First Aid to EPS students. When the district certifies 10 percent of its staff, the training can be extended to students between the ages of 16 and 18.
Mental Health First Aid is a nationally recognized certification program designed to train and certify non-mental health professionals with the concrete skills to recognize, respond, and refer people exhibiting mental health or substance-use difficulties to appropriate care.
The training stresses early detection and intervention by teaching participants about the signs and symptoms of specific illnesses like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and addictions. The National Council for Mental Wellbeing has certified more than one million people through a network of 12,000 Mental Health First Aid instructors. EPS Manager of Social/Emotional Learning and Wellness Patrick Quigley is a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor and the driving force behind bringing this important training to our community of teachers and school support staff.
“It was great to see such a diverse cross-section of EPS personnel taking part in this training opportunity, including Principals, Administrative Assistants, Family Liaisons, and Success Coaches,” said Superintendent Tahiliani. “The Mental Health First Aid program is an important step in embedding proven and sustainable social and emotional wellness strategies into our curriculum and our daily operations.”