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Nov 29

Protecting Children In Crisis: Foster Care and Mental Health First Aid in Missouri

by Mike Ferguson

(St. Charles, MO) – Too many tragic situations and too few adults who are ready to help.

That’s essentially the story when it comes to Missouri’s foster care system right now. Around 13,000 young people are in foster care in the state at this point and the public-private partnership that cares for them is in need of more qualified Missourians to open their hearts and homes.

Melanie Scheetz is with the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition, which is one of the private partners helping the state’s social service workers through foster care. She describes some of the circumstances that lead to children being removed from their homes and put into foster care. She also explains why the goal is always to reunite the child with their family if at all possible.

More importantly, Scheetz gives us an overview of how you can help even if you’re not ready or able to become a foster parent.

Also, we all know the importance of learning life-saving first aid because those skills could save a life when a heart attack, serious injury, choking  or weather-related condition happens. The Red Cross does a fantastic job of training life savers throughout Missouri and America year around. So, why do so few people know that Mental Health First Aid training exists and is available as well? That, too, could equip you to save a life when there’s a mental health crisis. Like physical first aid, mental health first aid provides the skills to help stabilize a dangerous situation until professionals can take over.

For young people, a mental health crisis too often ends in suicide or harm to others around them.

Jermine Alberty is a Mental Health First Aid trainer and the principal consultant with SALT Initiatives.

He busts some of the myths associated with mental health and mental illness and provides the information you need to get ready in case you encounter a young person in crisis.

On the web:

Missouri Department of Social Services – Foster Care

Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition

Mental Health First Aid – Missouri

SALT Initiatives

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Permanent link to this article: http://missouriviewpoints.com/protecting-children-in-crisis-foster-care-and-mental-health-first-aid-in-missouri/