PLYMC receives grant for mental health training

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.The Austintown library branch is one of many that will have the opportunity to participate in mental health training from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Both librarians and community members will have the oppurtunity to participate in four different training courses regaurding mental health through the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Branches of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County will offer mental health training through a grant from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded by the State Library of Ohio, under the Library Services and Technology Act.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services granted the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning county a grant for Mental Health and First Aid training.

The grant, which totalled nearly $5,000, was awarded by the State Library of Ohio, under the Library Services and Technology Act according to library spokesperson Janet Loew.

One hundred library personnel and community members who are interested in the training will be able to participate.

Loew said that the participants will be trained to help community members exhibiting signs of mental health issues or addiction and connect them to professionals. Training includes two Adult Mental Health First Aid sessions and two Youth Mental Health First Aid sessions, which will take place at the PLYMC library branches in upcoming months.

According to Aimee Fifarek, executive director of the PLYMC, those training sessions are not yet scheduled.

“Mental Health First Aid training is aimed at helping staff assist someone exhibiting problems related to issues such as mental illness, substance use, poverty or homelessness. Participants in the training will learn risk factors and warning signs, as well as strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help,” Fifarek said in a press release.

Loew said the project will be coordinated by Adult Programming Specialist Kelly Kotel.

She explained that Kotel will be working with the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board and Alta Care Group to organize the training and provide instructors.

“Because our library system is a central source of providing access to information, we believe that it is perfectly suited to provide education about mental illness to our customers and our community,” Fifarek said.

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