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TMH Foundation Sponsors Participants of Mental Health First Aid Training for Youth


Taylorville Memorial Hospital Foundation was pleased to support local Taylorville teachers who attended the recent Mental Health First Aid training specifically geared toward helping youth with mental illness and substance abuse issues.  The training was held at Lincoln Land Community College on June 1.

“The TMH Foundation is thrilled to support community health outreach initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid training,” said Foundation executive director Raedena Ryan.  “Healthcare is so much more than what happens within the walls of the hospital.  We are committed to helping our community and through the generosity of our donors, we are able to support programs such as this.”

The Mental Health First Aid trainings help community members learn how to identify and respond to people showing signs of mental illness and substance abuse.  This specific youth training is recommended for anyone 18 or older who regularly have contact with young people ages 12-18 such as teachers, coaches, social workers, faith leaders and other caring citizens, but is open to everyone. 

The next session will begin at 8 a.m. on July 24th in the classroom on the 4th floor of the hospital. The training is $16.95 to provide training materials and the TMH Foundation will again be sponsoring Taylorville residents who wish to attend.  Registration is available online at, or by calling Penny Shehadeh at 217-824-1675 or email Taylorville residents who would like to take advantage of the Foundation’s sponsorship will need to contact Penny Shehadeh to register.

“Mental Health First Aid has been called ‘CPR for the mind’.  Most people know how to recognize and appropriately react to medical emergencies, but there is little knowledge in the general public about what to do in a mental health crisis,” said Penny Shehadeh, nurse educator at TMH.  "This training will provide people in our community with the resources they need to know how to respond."

Mental Health First Aid teaches signs of addictions and mental illnesses, a five-step action plan to assess a situation and help, the impact of mental health and substance use disorders, and local resources and where to turn for help.

The four hospitals of Memorial Health System and Memorial Behavioral Health are sponsoring Mental Health First Aid for communities in central Illinois.