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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Mental Health First Aid Act passes through Kentucky house unanimously

The House unanimously approved legislation establishing a statewide mental health first aid training program. The training laid out in House Bill 153, sponsored by Rep. Kim Moser of Taylor Mill, would equip individuals to identify and recognize the signs and symptom of someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

“Proper training is critical to safely and effectively care for someone experiencing a mental health crisis,” Moser said. “While this training would not replace a licensed counselor or primary care provider, it would give community members the opportunity to learn some of the signs and symptoms associated with a mental health or substance use crisis. Through continued training, we can ensure someone in a crisis situation can get the help and care they really need. Mental health first aid should be as common as CPR.”

Upon completion of this training, individuals would better be able to recognize and take appropriate action to safely intervene in a mental health or substance use crisis. While the training is geared toward anyone, individuals such as first responders, faith leaders, social workers, and educators are those likely to benefit the most.

“This training will be very beneficial to all kinds of people like pastors, or social workers, especially in our rural areas,” Moser added. “We are giving the leaders in some of our states most underserved areas an additional resource to learn how to best address the needs of those dealing with mental health or substance use issues in a safe and effective way.”

The program would be administered through the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. It would be set up to receive grants and donations from public and private organizations. The legislation will now move to the Senate for consideration. Specific details of the bill can be found here.

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