The ministry offers a mental health first aid course

The ministry offers a mental health first aid course

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Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry offered a full-day Mental Health First Aid USA training to its employees. By taking the course, employees will receive certification in mental health first aid.

The course was delivered by Partners Behavioral Health Management. The instructors were Stephanie Funderburk and Amber Mathews. GHCCM participants are medical clinic, pharmacy, and neighbor engagement representatives who have direct contact with neighbors (clients) who seek help from the ministry.

As Molly Sain, director of the GHCCM Medical Clinic, said, “At first glance, first aid is generally thought of as the first aid kit someone has in a car or provides first aid when an accident occurs. anything happens. We inherently want to be ready for an emergency. Early intervention can prevent an emergency. Mental Health First Aid aims to teach members of the public (GHCCM staff) how to respond in a mental health emergency and to offer support to someone who appears to be under emotional stress.

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In 2021, the medical clinic received 6,121 patient visits, serving 719 patients. The pharmacy filled 19,442 prescriptions and had 9,580 patient encounters. The Neighbor Engagement Team served 2,766 households, provided 1,792 homeless services and issued 2,137 food cards.

The terms mental illness, mental health and mental disorders are used by society, although there is not always a clear understanding of their meaning and relevance in everyday life. Statistics show that mental health issues are more common than heart disease, lung disease and cancer combined. It is estimated that approximately one in five people will suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year.

Within the GHCCM medical clinic, more than 75% of patients have a diagnosis of mental illness. Therefore, since neighbors (clients) are served at the GHCCM, it is essential that staff have a clear understanding of the impact of mental illness on overall health.

GHCCM’s goal is to meet each client where they are in their life journey, stabilize all immediate situations and help out of crisis and ultimately provide life lessons for get out of poverty. GHCCM provides tools and training to offer resources to neighbors. The GHCM Medical Clinic has an on-site Peer Support Specialist and Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. The Neighbor Engagement Team, located at the John and Carol of Perczel Whole Life Center, provides referral services, job search assistance, computer and financial literacy and more.

As quoted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), “Recovery is defined as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and well-being, lead independent lives, and strive to achieve their full potential with goals of hope, empowerment and independence.

The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual becomes aware of his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and successfully, and is able to make a contribution to his life. his community. GHCCM’s mission to provide hope, relief and healing to all who need it most sums up the overall goal of the ministry.

GHCCM depends on grants and financial contributions to continue to offer the wide range of support to the most vulnerable neighbors in the community. The goal of the GHCCM is to work together to provide stability for people in crisis and a pathway out of the cycle of poverty. For hours of operation, ministry offerings, or to donate, visit the GHCCM website at For more information, email To volunteer, send your request to

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