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Philly Leads the Way in Mental Health Awareness

Continuing the established trend of Philadelphia being a leader in mental health awareness, in December, the city surprised 25,000 people trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). This achievement makes Philadelphia the city with the most trainees in MHFA.

“This milestone for Mental Health First Aid trainees represents a monumental feat,” said DBHIDS Commissioner David T. Jones, “and DBHIDS is committed to training additional Philadelphians in MHFA!”

“Philadelphia continues to ‘walk the walk,’ demonstrating its commitment to increasing mental health awareness, reducing stigma, and promoting well-being for every Philadelphian,” said Assistant Director of Health Promotion Maria Boswell.

This latest achievement continues a long-established pattern of Philadelphia taking a position at the forefront of mental health awareness and providing an example for other cities nationwide and around the world.

Internationally, DBHIDS has partnered with the International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) in 2016, and hosting the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership in both 2016 and 2017. Additionally, the City’s efforts to normalize mental health disorders through the “Get a Check-Up from the Neck Up” campaign has drawn praise from as far away as Australia.

Domestically, during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, DBHIDS was at the forefront of bringing mental health awareness to the forefront with the Like-Minded Rally, which drew hundreds to hear dozens of political leaders, including former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who called for reform of mental health and addiction treatment in this country.

With this great achievement, the city now turns it eyes toward 50,000 trainees in the year 2020.

“As we strive toward 50,000 trained in Mental Health First Aid by 2020,” said Boswell, “we hope that all who live, work, or study in our great city recognize that we are, indeed, the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection!”