This past spring, the 1199SEIU League Training and Upgrading Fund partnered with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as part of a citywide initiative to train at least 250,000 New Yorkers in “mental health first aid.” One element of a campaign launched by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray–ThriveNYC: A Roadmap for Mental Health for All–the training is designed to help participants recognize the early signs of mental illness and substance abuse. To date, more than 500 1199SEIU healthcare workers have received this specialized training.

One in five New Yorkers struggles with mental health issues, according to a 2016 report, but almost half of them did not receive any treatment.

The initiative comes in response to a report that almost half of the New Yorkers reported to struggle with mental health issues do not receive treatment. Trainees learn how to listen without judgment, and respond to and help those who are in distress–whether it’s a friend, co-worker or family member–until they can get the professional care they may need. Seven remaining courses are offered in the fall, with each lasting eight hours. Training sessions are scheduled regularly in four of the city’s five boroughs, including on weekends, and are available in English, Spanish and Mandarin.

If you would like to register for mental health first-aid training, email the contacts below:

Sources: Mental Health America; ThriveNYC: A Roadmap for Mental Health for All

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