MHA High School Violence Prevention and Intervention Program

NEWS RELEASE

The Mental Health Association in Indian River County is excited to announce the completion of the LifeSkills Training course of its High School Violence Prevention and Intervention Program. The MHA’s clinicians provided this training to 9th grade students at Vero Beach High School and Sebastian River High School, with grant funding from the Indian River County Hospital District.

LifeSkills Training is a 10 class program used to decrease students’ risk behaviors, promote their wellness, and to increase their ability to make safe decisions. These classes are each dedicated to things like the value of health, decision making for health, risk-taking and substance abuse, media and health, managing emotions, family communication, and healthy relationships. The course was a major success. The Mental Health Association to date has already worked with 530 students in Vero Beach and 440 in Sebastian.

“Mental Health America reports that 1 in 5 youth have mental health concerns, and two-thirds of these young people are not receiving the help they need. Half of adult mental illnesses begin before age 14, and 75% of mental illness begins before 24 years of age,” said Jeanne Shepherd, Clinical Director of the Mental Health Association. “LifeSkills has 12 years of studies showing its effectiveness on helping youth by decreasing physical aggression by 30%, verbal aggression by 42%, and fighting by 40% among other things.”

Dr. Nicholas Coppola, Executive Director of the MHA stated, “The Mental Health Association’s High School Violence Prevention and Intervention Program has proved to be helpful to students and their parents. Our goal is to make students aware of all of the services we provide, and let them know they are able to reach out to us for help anytime.” Dr. Coppola concluded, “Every person undergoes trials and tribulations throughout their life, especially young adults. These hardships can lead to emotional and behavioral health concerns that left untreated, can lead to crisis. This course was meant to help students learn to cope with any situation they may encounter in their life.”

 About the Mental Health Association

The Mental Health Association in Indian River County Walk-In & Counseling Center, located at 820 37th Place, in Vero Beach, offers individuals experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition free mental health screening, crisis intervention services, and information and/or referral about how to address their mental health issues. The center is open Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Psychotherapy, group therapy,

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