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Albion Inmates Participate in Mental Health First Aid Training

Tags: Albion
January 09, 2020 12:00 AM
By: DOC Staff

PA Coat of Arms

On Dec. 11, 2019, Steve Krivonak and Samantha Schaupp, representatives from the Erie NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) presented Mental Health First Aid (MHFA training for inmates at SCI Albion. This training was sponsored by the Suicide Prevention Committee as part of Albion's endeavor as an institution to decrease suicide and increase knowledge of mental health issues in general.

Mental Health First Aid training focuses on educating people on the first steps to take when someone may be facing a mental health crisis or dealing with an ongoing mental health diagnosis. It also educates people on the characteristics and traits associated with a plethora of mental health diagnoses. Suicide prevention is also a component that is covered during this training. This training is the exact training that all DOC employees are required to have.

Given research indicating that an inmate is more likely to approach another inmate as opposed to staff when considering suicide, it was decided that this training would be extremely beneficial for the inmate population. There were 25 inmates who attended the training, and each was nominated by his unit teams. The inmates received workbooks and official certificates from NAMI following completion of their day-long training. Each participant showed respect, motivation and a true desire to learn new material as it relates to suicide prevention and mental health in general. Additionally, the inmates had the opportunity to participate in many group activities related to the material. Following the training, the representatives from NAMI thanked the inmates for their participation and emphasized that they had been the "best, most attentive and respectful audience we have ever had." Kudos to NAMI for their willingness to come to our prison and present such a valuable training opportunity for the inmates. Moving forward, NAMI has agreed to come back to Albion and train additional inmates. 

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