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Chenango Health Network helping community youth with mental health first aid

NORWICH (WBNG) — The Norwich High School hosted the Chenango Health Network along with other organizations Tuesday afternoon to teach people who work closely with children how to help regarding mental health.

The mental health first aid course includes eight hours of sessions, teaching people the signs to recognize for mental health issues and how to tackle issues, especially with children who experience emotions very differently from adults.

“What we do is try to educate and provide awareness on signs and symptoms for youth mental health first aid,” said Christine Paul, Chenango Health Network Deputy Director who was leading the course.

A handful of people from various organizations in the community attended the course. One of them was Allison O’Neill who works with the UHS Chenango Memorial Physical Therapy program. She says while she works with children’s physical problems, she finds that mental health still plays an important part.

“We do treat the youth in our community and I do feel that we need an increase in awareness of that when they’re coming in with a physical injury, you can’t separate the body from the mind and spirit,” said O’Neill.

If you’d like to participate in one of these courses, the Chenango Health Network and the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier both offer sessions.

Anne Sparaco

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