The Male Development and Empowerment Center (MDEC) is helping to destigmatize mental health and encourage people to take care of themselves. MDEC partnered with ThriveNYC to provide Mental Health First Aid training.Â ThriveNYC is a NYC initiative aimed at changing the culture surrounding mental illness. Andre Brereton, Assistant Director of MDEC, said it is important for students to be a part of this change.
â€œStigma stops people from getting the care they need.â€ Brereton added, â€œThis partnership with ThriveNYC is changing the culture â€” we are encouraging everyone to be part of the solution.â€
Using role-playing situations, ThriveNYC facilitators Rasmenyelek Laurent and Karl Valere taught the skills needed to identify and understand mental health and substance abuse challenges. Students also learned how to respond to these signs in their colleagues, friends and loved ones.Â At the end of the eight-hour training, all participants received a certificate in Mental Health First Aid, which is effective for three years. MDEC plans to bring ThriveNYC back to campus in the spring semester.