Picture: Taylor Powell, Social Media Manager for the Office of Strategic Communications at Valdosta State University completed the Mental Health First Aid Training Course.
Lowndes County, Georgia: In September 2018, Taylor Powell lost the man she loved and since then, she has been a huge advocate for mental health awareness. When she saw an advertisement for the free Mental Health First Aid trainings being held in Lowndes County, Powell signed up for the 8-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is experiencing a mental health crisis.
“When I saw these trainings were being offered, I immediately knew I needed to take one,” said Taylor Powell. “Not only am I an advocate for mental health but I’ve dealt with mental health issues in the past and have numerous family members who have as well,” said Powell.
Powell is the Social Media Manager for the Office of Strategic Communications at Valdosta State University, where she monitors and maintains all of the university’s flagship social media channels which involves responding to comments and messages from students and parents. She also works with students face to face in various capacities and serves on the University’s Mental Health Initiative Taskforce which was created to help students get all the help and support they need if experience a mental health issue. “I wanted to be prepared in case I ever encounter a student who is needing some mental health assistance. After taking this training I have valuable insight and tools to use if I am ever placed in the position to assist.”
Since April, in coordination with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Region 4 Field Office, Legacy Behavioral Health Services and the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, the Mental Health First Aid trainings have been vital to those who have completed because it has given them tools to understand how to identify and respond to signs of mental health illnesses and substance use disorders.
“I would recommend this training to everyone in our community, said Powell. “The information provided is invaluable. You never know someone’s mental well-being and if they are struggling.”
The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners, Legacy Behavioral Health Services and Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities will continue offering these free trainings through October. Upcoming trainings will be held on Wednesdays, August 18, September 22 and October 27. Each training is from 8:30 AM until 5 PM at the Lowndes County Emergency Operations Center located at 250 Douglas Street. Registration is required by emailing Jennifer.Dunn@dbhdd.ga.gov.