(FRANKFORT, Ky - March 19, 2020) A bill (House Bill 153) to establish a Kentucky Mental Health First Aid Training Program has passed the General Assembly and is on its way to the Governor's desk. HB 153 would help address the high rates of frequent mental distress, depression, suicide and drug deaths in the Commonwealth by training more persons to recognize the symptoms of a mental health or substance use disorder or crisis, provide initial assistance and refer individuals to appropriate professional help.Following is a statement from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

"We often fear what we don't understand, and what we can't fix," said Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky "It's scary to stand by and watch someone suffer. So, we turn away. But if we knew more, we could do more. The Kentucky Mental Health First Aid Training Program is like CPR training for mental health issues. CPR teaches bystanders to step in when someone isn't breathing, or their heart has stopped, until professional help arrives. Mental Health First Aid training gives bystanders tools to recognize a problem, intervene safely and point the person to the help they need. It can help prevent suicides, overdoses and other self-harm, and may even keep those who suffer with these issues from harming others. We applaud Rep. Kim Moser for her leadership in bringing this bill forward, and the General Assembly for recognizing its critical importance in increasing the number of trained persons in Kentucky and reducing the stigma of mental illness and substance use."
 
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About the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky
Funded by an endowment, the mission of the nonpartisan Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is to address the unmet health needs of Kentuckians by developing and influencing policy, improving access to care, reducing health risks and disparities, and promoting health equity. Since the Foundation opened its doors in 2001, it has invested more than $29 million in health policy research, advocacy, and demonstration project grants across the Commonwealth. Follow the Foundation on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and visit our website at www.healthy-ky.org.
 
Media Contacts:
Bonnie J. Hackbarth
bhackbarth@healthy-ky.org 
877-326-2583 (Office)
502-552-3770 (Mobile)
 
Alexa Kerley
akerley@healthy-ky.org 
877-326-2583 (Office)
859-229-9611 (Mobile)