House finalizes mental health training measure

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Mental Health GFX

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – People like educators, police, and anyone else who works with the public could receive “mental health first aid” training under a bill approved by the state House.

According to House Health and Family Services Committee Chair Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, R-Taylor Mill, who sponsored the bill, the goal is to improve front-line mental health services when a “crisis’ happens.

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Training would be administered by certified trainers overseen by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, with the cost of training courses and approved fee subsidies covered by grants drawn from a state-administered training fund as funding become available.

 “Any money in this trust fund would be used specifically for this training program or suicide prevention programs,” Moser told the House when the bill first passed the chamber in January.

Mental health first aid training programs are already available in pockets of the state, said Moser. HB 153 would take the training statewide as Kentucky battles what Moser called “significant mental health issues,” including substance use disorder and suicide.

Mental health first-aid knowledge taught as part of a training course would include how to recognize symptoms of a mental health disorder, provide initial help, refer individuals for appropriate professional help, prevent further deterioration of someone’s mental health state, and promote the person’s healing and recovery.

It now goes to the governor to be signed into law.