Surry Community College employees recently completed a two-day training and received completion certificates on Mental Health First Aid.
Twenty-one SCC employees received this training in association with the SCC Crisis Assessment, Response and Evaluation (CARE) Team, in response to rising numbers of mental health cases and an increase in the need for student outreach.
Surry Community College Counselor Bri Blackwood says, “Having this … training will allow faculty and staff to feel more confident in having that initial conversation with a student who is struggling with mental health issues and will also prepare them for getting the student to the appropriate resources they might need.”
“The Mental Health First Aid training plays a key role in identifying, understanding, and responding appropriately to individuals with mental illness,” said CARE Team Chair and Dean of Student Services Sabrina Terry. “Being able to participate in this training with such a diverse and interdisciplinary group shows just how much Surry Community College cares about normalizing and spreading the awareness of mental illness.”
In addition to providing training for faculty and staff, SCC hopes to provide resources for students through Surry’s Minds Matter, an upcoming campus organization aiming to promote mental health awareness among the student body.
“One of my goals for Surry’s Minds Matter is to get our students comfortable with having these conversations. After all, our students are on the front lines of the current mental health epidemic, and they are the eyes and ears of our entire student body,” Blackwood said.
The 21 employees who completed the training are: Bri Blackwood, counselor; Laura Bracken, director – Accessibility Services/Testing Center; Debbie Cave, director – Allied Health Programs; Dr. Darin Cozzens, division chair – English, Communications & Humanities; Jill Harding, director – Pilot Center and Occupational Programs; Ian Harrell, director – Fire and Rescue Programs/ESTC; Renita Hazelwood, director – Admissions/Records/Registration; Ray Hoots, director – Engineering Technologies; Dr. Yvonne Johnson, associate dean – Health Sciences; Angela Leonard, human resources assistant; Forrest Lineberry, executive director – Workforce, Technology & Community Education; Shelia Martin, division chair – Business and Computer Technologies; Ashley Morrison, dean of academics; Kendra Myers, coordinator – Student Services; Jennifer Pardue, director – College and Career Readiness and HRD; Melissa Recknor, director – Student Success and Academic Advising; Salena Ruvio-Ayers, Student Care & Outreach specialist; Dr. Cory Stewart, division chair – Social Sciences; Sabrina Terry, dean of Student Services; Alan Unsworth, department chair – Student and Instructional Support Services; and Melonie Weathers, director – Human Resources.