At the Mental Health Association in Forsyth County, we assist the community in a variety of ways.
Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training for Law Enforcement & Other Related First Responders
We MHA is involved in collaboratives such as “Crisis Intervention Team” (CIT) trainings to law enforcement officers, college campus law enforcement officers, and area EMTs. CIT is a 5-day, 40 hour training to law enforcement and other related personnel to help them recognize the signs and symptoms of persons experiencing a mental health crisis, to help them de-escalate a person having a mental health crisis in a safe and humane manner and, finally, to help individuals in crisis access services – as an alternative to jail. MHA is in charge of conducting and organizing four CIT training sessions in a given year.
Representative Payee Services
Through referrals, this program serves individuals with severe mental illness who receive Social Security Disability and/or Supplementary Security Income and cannot manage their own funds. We become the client’s payee and manage their funds to pay their rent, utilities, medications, food and other basic necessities to help them remain in the community, to avoid frequent hospitalizations and homelessness.
Court Assistance Program
The MHA monitors the outcomes of the weekly Judicial Hospital Hearings (Involuntary Commitment) and reports paperwork or other clerical errors to appropriate hospital or provider staff. If family members are present, the MHA offers information, referrals, resource assistance prior to the start of the weekly hearings.
Information and Referral Services
The MHA provides information/referral services to callers, e-mail inquiries, and walk-in visitors as well as to area professionals on various topics such as (but not limited to): specific mental health disorders, community mental health services, medication information, community support programs and/or substance abuse services. We maintain a database of local mental health providers for those interested in finding a provider in the private or public sectors. The MHA provides referrals based on a person’s mental health and/or financial needs.
Mental Health 101 training/ Mental Health First Aid
Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack even if you have no clinical training Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.
Before you can know how to help, you need to know when to help. We call this mental health literacy or a basic understanding of what different mental illnesses and addictions are, how they can affect a person’s daily life, and what helps individuals experiencing these challenges get well.
You learn about: Depression and mood disorders, Anxiety disorders, Trauma, Psychosis, Substance Use disorders.
Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.
Mental Health Awareness Campaigns and Suicide Awareness/Prevention Trainings
Promotional campaigns are held to spread awareness, understanding and to work to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Services include: ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainings), QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer – Suicide Education and Prevention), depression and anxiety screenings, radio and television interviews, participation in community health fairs and other events and panel discussions.We periodically sponsor or co-sponsor community meetings, forums, panel discussions — that are free and open to the public — on a variety of mental health and related topics.
Mental Health Court (MHC)
MHC is a post-booking jail diversion program for adults charged with nonviolent offenses. MHC deals with nonviolent offenders who have a mental illness or co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. The main goal of MHC is to decrease the frequency of clients’ contacts with the criminal justice system by providing the court with resources to improve clients’ social functioning and link them to mental health treatment, support services, community services, employment, and housing. MHC is a collaboration partnership between Forsyth County Court System, CenterPoint Human Services, District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, NAMI, and MHA. The Mental Health Association agrees to participate in MHC Treatment Team meetings and acts as an advocate for the consumers referred to the MHC.
Operation Santa Claus
Small gifts and goody bag items are provided to patients with mental health needs at local psychiatric inpatient facilities during December. Community agencies, local businesses, civic and church groups and volunteers donate their time, money and gifts to make the holidays special for our neighbors with mental health needs who are in hospital. It is our way to show that we care and to let them know that they too are remembered during the holidays.