Oakley Foundation Awards Hamilton Center $15,000 Grant

The Hollie and Anna Oakley Foundation has awarded Hamilton Center, Inc. a grant in the amount of $15,000 to help implement Mental Health First Aid throughout the Wabash Valley. Mental Health First Aid is a groundbreaking public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

The grant will be used to send five Hamilton Center staff to the National Council on Community Behavioral Healthcare's Mental Health First Aid five-day course to become certified trainers. Certified trainers will subsequently provide 12-hour interactive trainings to others in the community including first responders, law enforcement, school corporation personnel and others. Curriculum includes understanding the prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders in the U.S, identifying risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, responding to individuals who have may be in need of services and common treatments and services available.

Mental Health First Aid training is one of several steps Hamilton Center has initiated to increase awareness of mental health issues and de-stigmatize mental illness and substance abuse disorders. The organization has joined forces with the Vigo County School Corporation, the Vigo County Sherriff's department, the religious community, the City of Terre Haute, and others to improve communication and work towards community solutions in preventing violence. With this grant, the Oakley Foundation has joined that effort.

"The entire community will benefit from the Oakley Foundation's generosity," said Mel Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc." This is a wonderful example of our community working together to address an identified community need."

One Hamilton Center staff has recently become Mental Health First Aid certified. Four other staff will be certified in the coming months. The community can look forward to future Mental Health First Aid training.

The Hollie and Anna Oakley Foundation was formed to promote religious, educational and charitable purposes, particularly in the states of Indiana and Florida. The Oakley Foundation has a seven member Board of Trustees whose responsibilities include the management of the foundations funds, properties, the grant making process, and management of the foundation's business affairs.

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