The Impact Of Mental Health First Aid: Empowering New Jersey With Training

Through awareness and proper training on the subject, mental health first aid enhances the overall resilience and productivity of our communities.

We all know someone who’s struggling with their mental health. Maybe you’ve felt helpless, wondering how you could assist them. While getting professional help is the best course of action, immediate access isn’t always possible: booking an appointment with a certified counselor may take days or even weeks, and not everyone can afford therapy sessions. That’s where mental health first aid comes in. 

Mental health first aid equips you with the knowledge and skills to offer support until professional help becomes available, acting as a crucial bridge in mental health care.

What is mental health first aid?

Mental health first aid offers essential training and tools to help you the signs of mental health issues and offer immediate, yet temporary, support for daily life. Just as physical first aid is to injuries, mental health first aid is to psychological distress. This is where outstanding organizations like Mental Health Association in New Jersey and others excel, offering crucial support and education for community mental wellness.

Why Communities Need To Prioritize Mental Health

Investing in mental health is crucial, as statistics reveal its pervasive impact. Nationally, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year. Prioritizing mental health not only enhances individual resilience and quality of life but also contributes to societal productivity and stability.

Mental health first aid training extends beyond healthcare professionals—it’s crucial for everyone. From teachers and employers to family members and friends, understanding how to act in a mental health crisis can significantly alter outcomes. This collective capability not only fills gaps in our healthcare system but fosters a community environment of empathy and support, reducing the stigma around mental health issues.

Anyone, regardless of their profession or background, can play a role in promoting mental health and supporting those in need. 

Where can I get trained for mental health first aid in New Jersey?

To equip community members, professionals, and peers with the necessary skills and knowledge, organizations like the Mental Health Association in New Jersey (MHANJ) offer training programs. They are a proud partner of the Holiday Fund, and have spearheaded initiatives focused on mental health literacy, crisis intervention, and emotional support techniques, empowering participants to recognize signs of distress and provide appropriate assistance.

These sessions are led by MHANJ staff or qualified speakers, with options for personal perspective talks and interactive presentations. The Community Education and Outreach Department focuses on boosting mental health awareness, reducing stigma, and providing various programs like the Mental Health Players, PEWS Program (Promoting Emotional Wellness & Spirituality), and WRAP® (Wellness Recovery Action Planning) training to enhance understanding and wellness.

Read more: Improving Mental Wellness: The Active Role of Mental Health Association in New Jersey

MHANJ’s Collaboration with Cranford Jaycees

Recently, Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s Ruth Kaluski and Merrill Altberg embarked on an important journey, leading the Adult Mental Health First Aid USA Training from the National Council for Well Being in collaboration with the Cranford Jaycees.

This essential training is a step forward in empowering individuals to recognize and respond to the signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in our communities. We appreciate the reminder that, when communities come together, the potential to foster understanding and support around mental health is amplified.

Where can I find professional mental health services in New Jersey?

If you or someone you know is seeking professional help, there are several trusted agencies that you can direct them to. Our partner agencies across New Jersey offer a range of mental health support. Some notable initiatives include:

These remarkable services guarantee that support is just a phone call away.

Support Mental Health First Aid Programs with the Greater Newark Holiday Fund

Join us in championing mental health by contributing to the Greater Newark Holiday Fund. Your contribution will directly benefit organizations such as these, providing crucial support for mental health first aid programs. This fosters a culture rooted in understanding, empathy, and proactive care for mental well-being. 

Feeling inspired by MHANJ’s commitment to mental health? Join us in making a difference! Your generous contribution will go a long way in changing lives and building stronger communities. Donate today at

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