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Mental Health First Aid Toolkit Supports State Policy Initiatives

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Rebecca Farley

Director, Policy & Advocacy, National Council for Behavioral Health

Mental Health First Aid Toolkit Supports State Policy Initiatives

August 28, 2014 | Mental Health First Aid | Comments
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In the 2013-2014 legislative session, 21 states passed legislation or initiated executive actions related to Mental Health First Aid. These included appropriations to support Mental Health First Aid activities, teacher training requirements, and more.

As Mental Health First Aid continues to receive broad support at the state level, the National Council has updated our State Legislative Toolkit for 2014. The toolkit provides advocates and policymakers with resources and support for enacting Mental Health First Aid policies. The toolkit includes:

  • Sample bill language;
  • Examples of potential executive actions to support Mental Health First Aid;
  • Talking points, fact sheet, and other informational resources to educate the public and policymakers;
  • Sample op-ed and other media resources; and
  • Strategies for success in planning and carrying out a Mental Health First Aid campaign in your state.

The Mental Health First Aid toolkit also includes a 2013-2014 State Policy Tracking Chart illustrating the activities that were successfully implemented and those that died in the legislature. In addition to standard legislative efforts, states and community advocates have collaborated to find creative approaches to implement Mental Health First Aid, including applying for federal and private grants and finding new partners (such as religious leaders, public safety entities, social service agencies, librarians, veteran’s organizations, and college health services).