CSO to serve region’s mental health needs with 5-year grant

  • Clinical & Support Options (CSO), pictured at 1 Arch Place in Greenfield, will use a five-year, $625,000 grant for a free new program aimed at raising the level of mental health awareness and response capabilities in the region. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Clinical & Support Options (CSO), pictured at 1 Arch Place in Greenfield, will use a five-year, $625,000 grant for a free new program aimed at raising the level of mental health awareness and response capabilities in the region. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 2/8/2022 2:48:28 PM
Modified: 2/8/2022 2:46:46 PM

GREENFIELD — Clinical & Support Options (CSO) has announced it will use a five-year, $625,000 grant to foster a new free program aimed at raising the region’s level of mental health awareness and response capabilities by training at least 1,800 medical professionals, first responders and community members.

CSO has launched its Rural Awareness and Access Project after receiving a mental health awareness training grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Chase Giroux, CSO’s director of community education, said the agency began offering free training while simultaneously building an infrastructure of marketing tools and resources.

“We hit the ground running,” explained Giroux, who will oversee the program. “We had both going on at the same time.”

Training audiences may include primary care providers, pediatric practices, hospitals, veterans organizations, schools and early learning agencies, law enforcement, first responders, courthouses, victim-assistance providers and advocates, and other grassroots community-based organizations and businesses.

Customized Rural Awareness and Access Project trainings are available and encouraged, but basic trainings will include mental health first aid, which aims for competency in identifying signs of mental health crises and in serving as a bridge linking someone who needs support with longer-term care.

There also will be trainings in safety and nonviolent crisis intervention, autism spectrum disorders, positive behavioral supports, trauma-sensitive mindfulness, and building a trauma-informed community, or a community that understands the effects of trauma and ways of addressing it.

CSO is based in Northampton and has locations across Western Massachusetts, including in Greenfield and Athol.

Giroux mentioned U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s advisory late last year to highlight a need to address the country’s youth mental health crisis, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Giroux said young people have experienced nearly two years of pandemic-related isolation in addition to social and racial injustice, which “while not new, have really erupted across the nation, and that has a huge impact on our young people and families.”

Geoffrey Oldmixon, CSO’s associate vice president of marketing and development, said this new program will foster a greater understanding of mental health and issues faced by all.

“We can’t really make this happen without people reaching out to us,” he said. “Without organizations reaching out and trying to access and share in that vision, we’re going to struggle providing the necessary information.”


E-Edition & Local Ads


Weather


athol forecast

Social Media




Athol Daily News

14 Hope Street,
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Telephone: (413) 772-0261

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.