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Ignite 300 grant in action: Mental Health First Aid training

March 5, 2020

News Stories

“Humble, Silent, and Fortitudinous Hospitality” is an Ignite 300 mini grant with the primary goal of providing Mental Health First Aid training (MHFA) for educational professionals from the Diocese of Winona-Rochester (DOW-R) and Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

The Ignite 300 mini grants were first offered by the Office of the President of Saint Mary’s University to honor the 300th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Brothers of Christian Schools, Saint John Baptist de La Salle. This particular grant was awarded to Karen Hemker, director of Access Services in the Student Success Center; and Joseph Tadie, Ph.D., associate professor, Philosophy Department. The two had vibrant cooperation from Marsha Stenzel, superintendent of Catholic Schools, DOW-R; and Rev. Monsignor Thomas Melvin, vicar general, DOW-R.

Thirty educational professionals with roles including guidance counselor, principal, lead teacher, dean, professor, and superintendent gathered at Saint Mary’s Rochester Campus recently to learn from Connie Mettille, Mental Health First Aid trainer and professor of exercise science and rehabilitation at Winona State University.

The course, provided by the National Council on Behavioral Health, teaches educational professionals how to help those who may be experiencing mental health or substance use challenges. The eight-hour training certifies participants in Mental Health First Aid and equips educators to identify, understand, and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.

Students on the Saint Mary’s Winona Campus are also participating in a national movement to promote mental health awareness called the Green Bandana Project.