Hall County students receive mental health training

40 peer leaders represented their home schools Cherokee Bluff High School, Flowery Branch High School, and Lanier College and Career Academy for a full day of mental health-themed training at Eagle Ranch in Flowery Branch.

Students came away with plenty of resources in their tool belt from three evidence-based entities: QPR, Teen Mental Health First Aid, and Sources of Strength.

Adam Raulerson, Business Development Manager for Laurelwood Behavioral Health, provided QPR training to the students. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer and is a three-step method to help prevent suicide. This evidence-based program helps trained people recognize the warning signs of suicide, offer hope and save lives.

Hall County Student Services staff incorporated portions of teen mental health first aid into their time at Eagle Ranch. Students came away with a better understanding of mental health and when to seek help for themselves or a friend.

In preparation for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, participants also had the opportunity to plan a Sources of Strength campaign for their respective schools, focusing on mental health and well-being. Sources of Strength is a comprehensive strength-based wellness program that focuses on suicide prevention while impacting many other issues facing communities.

The Eagle Ranch event is funded by Project Aware of Hall County, a 5-year grant that was awarded to Hall County schools to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth. Project Aware provides training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues. Plus, it connects school-aged youth who may be experiencing behavioral health issues with the support they need.


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Richard V. Johnson