Each year, millions of individuals live with a mental illness. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the CENTERS staff at Marshall University have taken the time to really show they are committed to providing support to the Marshall community. This past March, the Professional Staff at Marshall all received their Mental Health First Aid Certification. The training empowered the staff to recognize signs and symptoms of varying levels of mental health challenges and taught the staff how to effectively help individuals get the help they need. Director Michele Muth said “I’m proud of my team, it was a long day of virtual training, a lot of reading, tests and difficult conversations.”

A few of the staff below provided their feedback on the certification course:

“The certification is important because it provides resources and information in a digestible way, allowing those of us who do not regularly research or study mental health to feel more comfortable providing care to people in a mental health challenge or crisis. Many students struggle silently with mental health challenges, so it is beneficial to have professionals on campus who can provide mental health first aid and assist them in finding resources when noticing the signs. I personally have students come talk with me often about their mental health struggles, so it is beneficial for me to now have the knowledge from the MHFA certification course to provide better care.” – Mariah B.

“This training gave me confidence in identifying someone experiencing difficulties and in my ability to help them.” – Cindi T.

“I learned the application of assessing the person’s state of being, offering listening and support, and the encourage professional and other forms of help. I learned about being intentional with all of my words, expressions, and interactions with others. This will benefit campus because college environments can be challenging environments, but colleges are also about working together as a community to support each other, and MHFA is perfectly in line with that.” – Sam I.

“As a college educator and supervisor of student employees, I have daily interactions with the student employees who work at the Rec Center. It has been a tough year for many individuals, and students are still feeling the constant stress and mental impact of virtual classes. Covid-19 has taken its toll on Mental Health in general, so we must be able to assist those in need. The first step to solving a problem is recognizing there is one. This course helped me to identify signs and symptoms of a mental health crisis or challenge, with specific action steps to take to assist the individual in need.” -Eric B.

We are proud of our Marshall team for taking the time to educate themselves on Mental Health and becoming a safe-space on campus for individuals.