Mental Health First Aid a focus for Disability Employment Awareness Month

Local expert to speak at UMass Medical School Oct. 26

October 17, 2012

In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Amy Ebbeson, MSW, will introduce Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), a program designed to build mental health literacy among members of the public, including employers and business leaders. Just as CPR training helps people with no medical training assist individuals in a physical health crisis, MHFA helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis.

Ebbeson, a faculty member in the Department of Health Sciences at Worcester State University who consults on mental health, spirituality and social justice, will speak about how mental health first aid has proven valuable in workplaces, especially those of employers committed to creating a work environment that supports individuals with disabilities related to mental health disorders. “Usually, when ignorance and fear of mental illness are replaced with accurate information and resources to give and receive help, a change agent is created,” she has written.

The latest in the UMass Memorial Diversity and Inclusion Speaker Series, the event will take place on Friday, Oct. 26, from noon to 1 p.m., in Amphitheatre III. A light lunch will be available at 11:30 a.m. Attendees are asked to RSVP to Karen Mitchell at 508-334-8799 or

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