Ozark Center employees certified to lead mental health awareness course

Monday, July 23, 2012 - Ozark Center employees certified to lead mental health awareness course

JOPLIN, Mo.—Five Ozark Center employees have become certified instructors for the Mental Health First Aid – USA (MHFA) program. The five completed 40 hours of training and are now certified to lead MHFA courses. Intended for nonclinical individuals outside the mental healthcare profession, these Ozark Center employees can now lead courses designed to increase mental health literacy, decrease stigmas, and encourage assistance for those who suffer from a mental health problem. Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of the most common mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis, and substance abuse.

The five Ozark Center employees who are now MHFA-certified instructors include Rono Bowyer, Ozark Center Turn Around Ranch Director; Kim Fielding, Ozark Center Children’s Trauma Therapist; Debbie Fitzgerald, Ozark Center Coordinator of Crisis Services and Accreditation; Jessica Shumard, Ozark Center Crisis Counselor; and Kevin Walker, Ozark Center State Emergency Response Grant Coordinator and Community Care Supervisor.  

Developed in 2001, MHFA is supported by the University of Melbourne, Australia. Missouri is the first state to implement MHFA in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

About Freeman Health System

Based in Joplin, Missouri, Freeman Health System is the area’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health system, serving southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. Freeman provides comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services, including cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurosciences, orthopaedics, and women’s services, with more than 300 physicians representing 60 specialties. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com or facebook.com/freemanhealthsystem, or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at twitter.com/freemanceo.

About Ozark Center

An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Missouri, Ozark Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults, and families in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the mental health needs of the community and promote awareness of mental illness in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit ozarkcenter.com or call 417.347.7600.