November 5, 2018

Sessions will train up to 200 people to respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse

Hackettstown, N.J., Nov. 5, 2018—The Hackettstown Medical Center Community Advisory Board has awarded a $22,400 grant for Centenary University’s Counseling Center to provide Mental Health First Aid training to members of the University and larger Warren County communities. The grant will enable Centenary to conduct eight sessions and train up to 200 participants over the next year.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training is an international program that teaches the skills to respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse. Topics covered in the training are depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, and psychosis and suicide prevention. More than a million people have been trained across the United States.

In addition to its campus community, Centenary plans to open up training sessions to local high school educators, police officers, hospital personnel, and other interest groups. Each community training will be specifically designed to meet the unique needs of participating groups.

Centenary last conducted MHFA training for 79 faculty members, staff, and students during the 2017-2018 academic year. Kerry Mullins, vice president for student life and dean of students, said that 100% of participants rated the training as very helpful, while one alumnus—who is now a police officer—reported that he used the skills he developed in dealing with a difficult mental health emergency on the job.

“Our goal is to make awareness of Mental Health First Aid training as common as CPR,” Mullins said. “When we increase the percentage of civilians who are trained, we have more people equipped with the skills to assist others who are in crisis.”


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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