Westwood High School students complete mental health first aid training program

This training was implemented in February with the help of Marquette Alger RESA.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 7:50 PM EDT
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ISHPEMING TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - Last week, 10th grade students at Westwood High School completed teen mental health first aid training.

This training was implemented in February with the help of Marquette Alger RESA. Principal Cliff Fossitt said this program was designed to help students spot or deal with a mental health crisis.

“If they are experiencing a crisis or their peers are experiencing one, they will know what to do,” said Fossitt. “So, it’s really just a way for us to more ways for our students to support themselves and support each other when dealing with mental health.”

During this six-lesson series, two mental health professionals were brought in for 45 minutes per session. Fossitt said N.I.C.E. is the second district in Marquette County to implement this training. He believes other districts will start doing this same kind of training.

“Sometimes we as schools, things get really busy and it’s hard to fit additional things into what we’re doing,” said Fossitt. “I think that based on our experience. This is a really good opportunity for our kids and a good thing for our school.”

10th grader Mitchell Ford stated they learned a person joking about suicide can be a sign of a student going through a crisis.

“People joke about that, but we try to take it seriously, we learned that a lot more. You have to take everything seriously,” said Ford.

Fellow Sophomore Lauren Carlson said this training was important to their class for one major reason: 10th-grade students are now educated in teen mental health.

“We had a tragic incident last year and we took it very seriously and we just want to show every student and everyone in the community that we really do care,” said Carlson.

Fossitt also went on to say that these kinds of programs give people tools. The more resources and tools students have, the more lives they could help save.