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Mental Health First Aid: Awareness, Advocacy, and Community Collaboration

Presentation:  Mental Health First Aid: Awareness, Advocacy, and Community Collaboration


Practitioners and other community members can benefit greatly from training in Mental Health First Aid. Just as CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis such as contemplating suicide. In both situations, the goal is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Mental Health First Aiders learn a single 5-step action plan known as ALGEE, which includes assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, and identifying appropriate professional help and other support. This breakout session will discuss what Mental Health First Aid training is and how it can be tailored to specific audiences – such as public safety, veterans, older adults, and higher education – to meet the needs of the community, encourage advocacy and facilitate collaboration.

Presenter Bios

Dr. Roger Callese is a sergeant and certified Crisis Intervention Team officer with the Round Lake Beach Police Department. He is a certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) USA Adult instructor, with additional endorsements to teach Public Safety, Higher Education, and Veterans. He was part of the first cohort of volunteer instructors selected to teach MHFA to Lake County residents under a grant obtained by the Lake County Health Department. He is a member of NAMI Illinois, NAMI of Lake County Illinois, a 2018 NAMI Illinois Conference presenter, and has been a featured speaker at NAMI training. Dr. Callese holds an Associate in Applied Science in Criminal Justice, Bachelor of Science of Education, Post-baccalaureate Certification in Police Executive Administration, Master of Science in Education, and a Doctor of Education. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve and a combat veteran of the U.S. Navy.

Commander Scott Crawford, MBA, has been in law enforcement for over twenty-two years. During that time, he has served as a patrol officer and sergeant, a Field Training Officer and Field Training Coordinator, Evidence Technician and Evidence Custodian, Investigator, Internal Affairs, and as the Recruitment Coordinator. He current responsibilities include oversight of the daily operations, policy development and implementation, and project management of his department. He is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Supervision of Police Personnel. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. Commander Crawford is a member of both the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP).

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