The Shine’s on Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Posted On 12/05/2020 by St. Pete Chamber Member

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay is a 501 (C)(3) nonprofit that connects people and resources to inspire charitable giving and create a meaningful, lasting impact on our region. We serve Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Our new Pinellas location opened in October 2020 at 110 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.

The Foundation awarded more than $20 million in grants last year – more than $5.2 million in Pinellas – thanks to the generosity of its fundholders and partners.

ONE IMPORTANT NEW INITIATIVE: MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID

Even before the pandemic and social unrest of 2020, the Foundation recognized that mental illness is a serious issue in our community. COVID-19 has made it worse. A study released by the CDC in August found that at least 40 percent of U.S. adults (2 in every 5) are struggling with one or more serious mental health issue during the pandemic.

To help address the need, the Foundation launched the Mental Health First Aid initiative in partnership with Love IV Lawrence, St. Petersburg College and Humana.

THE GOAL:

Train and empower 5,000 key personnel in nonprofits, faith communities and other community settings to identify, understand and respond to signs of addictions and mental illness within the next three years.

WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?

Think of it as the CPR of mental health. It is a national certification through the National Council for Behavioral Health that is proven effective. Peer-reviewed studies show that individuals trained in the program:

· Learn signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illnesses and addictions

· Can identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or addiction

· Increase their confidence in and likelihood to help an individual in distress

· Show increased mental wellness themselves

WHO CAN USE MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID?

Anyone. Mental Health First Aid training is similar to CPR training. It helps people identify, understand and respond to someone who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.

HOW DO I BECOME A CERTIFIED MENTAL HEALTH FIRST-AIDER?

Mental Health First Aid certification is about an 8-hour training course. In the virtual training, participants complete a self-paced introduction to the material that takes about two hours. The real-time online instruction — with between 10 and 30 people in the course — takes five to six hours in one day.

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay covers the cost of the training for those who work in nonprofits, faith communities or other approved areas. The fee for other individuals and business is $125 per person. Group trainings also are available.

Learn more and register at CFTampaBay.org/mentalhealth.