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Mental Health First Aid Workshop Named STLCC 2012 Innovation of the Year

May 09, 2012

STLCC Innovation of the Year  
Counseling faculty at STLCC-Florissant Valley developed a Mental Health First Aid Workshop that was named the 2012 STLCC Innovation of the Year. Counselors Troy Hansen and Emily Lasek, center, are flanked by Marcia Pfeiffer, left, Florissant Valley president, and Myrtle E.B. Dorsey, STLCC chancellor. Joe Worth, counseling department chair, was unable to attend the May 7 event at which the winners were announced.



















A workshop developed by counselors at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley to address the growing number mental health issues on college campuses has been named the STLCC Innovation of the Year.

The project leaders of Mental Health First Aid Workshop are Joe Worth, Ph.D., professor and chair of the counseling department; Troy Hansen, assistant professor and counselor; and Emily Lasek, associate professor and counselor. Florissant Valley’s counseling department introduced the workshop to STLCC to assist faculty and staff with the growing number of mental health issues on college campuses. This successful workshop has created an awareness of these issues as well as an appropriate referral source for services.

“You are the reason St. Louis Community College is a member of the League for Innovation. You have great ideas and you are willing to go out and work on them,” said Myrtle E.B. Dorsey, Ph.D., chancellor, at a reception to announce the winners. “The hardest thing is to have an idea and not pursue it. That doesn’t move us forward. Your willingness to try new ideas helps us grow.”

After two years of development, the workshop was adapted to a one-credit hour course (PRD:528), which makes it available to both students and the public. Mental Health First Aid is a national certification designed to assist participants in recognizing symptoms of mental illness, thereby promoting early intervention. Similar to medical first aid, it enables people to handle a mental health crisis until an appropriate professional response can be obtained.

Since its introduction, the Florissant Valley Counseling department has trained and certified more than 200 faculty, staff, students and community members in mental health first aid. It has brought local and national attention to St. Louis Community College.

The League for Innovation in the Community College established the Innovation of the Year Award to recognize an individual or group from each of the 20 member college districts who have used creative, productive approaches to meet new needs or solve old problems Criteria for the award are quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness, replication, creativity and timeliness. STLCC is a founding member of the League for Innovation.