Negaunee teachers learn how to address mental health first aid

Negaunee teachers particpating in activites learning about mental health
Negaunee teachers particpating in activites learning about mental health(WLUC)
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:41 PM EST
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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - Negaunee and Westwood High School teachers learned how to identify and address if a student is experiencing a mental health emergency.

The course presented by Marquette Alger RESA lasted eight hours with various activities to best equip teachers. First aid trainer for MARESA Rachel Bloch said teachers have a good opportunity to reach out to students during the day.

“So we use an action plan called ALG. A is for how to approach the youth. L is how do you listen to a student non-judgmentally? How do you give them reassurance and hope if they’re going through a mental health challenge?,” Bloch said. “How do you encourage them to connect with a professional and then how do you encourage them to have a self-care plan?”

Bloch said each student’s case is different and teachers can now plan accordingly. Negaunee High School Principal Andrew Brunette said Friday’s course has been valuable to keep students safe.

“A big part of our strength here at Negaunee High School is our staff. Just being able to provide our staff with more tools which will allow them to better serve our students is obviously something that we’re happy and excited about doing,” Brunette said.

Brunette said the training on Friday is just one step toward a bigger goal the school has for its students.

“Our main goal is to ultimately initiate a teen mental health first aid program for our students here at Negaunee High School. But before we can start that the first step in that process was to get all of our teaching staff trained in mental health first aid,” he said.

Bloch says Marquette Alger RESA is hosting a similar event on Saturday for Northern Michigan University education majors.