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Philadelphia: Charter school teachers get "mental health first aid training

Aug 31, 2018, Philadelphia Tribune: School trains staff in youth mental health first aid http://www.phillytrib.com/news/school-trains-staff-in-youth-mental-health-first-aid/article_8455b339-ee23-5d5c-8c62-ded678ccc535.html A Pennsylvania task force on school safety recommends better access to mental health services — including age-appropriate materials for students and teachers. Heeding that advice, Philadelphia’s String Theory Charter Schools hosted a day of mental health first aid training for its teachers and staff. At an event Tuesday, hundreds took part in the instruction provided by the city’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services and a national mental health awareness organization called Project 375. Malik Gray, a supervisor in Philadelphia’s Mental Health First Aid Unit, says it’s important to train adults to understand what causes kids to act out rather than criminalizing that behavior. “We look at the behaviors that we see developing in adolescents and being able to differentiate between, ‘Hey, typical behavior’ versus ‘Hey, something’s not right here with this young person. What’s going on?’” Gray said. It’s all about understanding what are those signs and symptoms, being able to recognize it, and then knowing what are the next steps. How do I connect this young person and their family, for that matter, with the proper services?”… More than 250 people filled the auditorium of the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, after morning breakout sessions, to hear Michi Marshall speak, as part of learning how to better address students’ mental health needs….

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