Issue #10
November 13, 2019
Keep Our Children SAFE!
Mental Health First Aid Responder Program
The VIRTUS ® program is designed to educate adults on how to keep children safe. Part of our adult safety training involves youth mental health. A new mental health first aid certification program has been developed by Youth Mental Health First Aid USA to provide first aid to youth who experience mental health challenges, mental health disorders, or who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. Like medical first aid responders, Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Responders provide support until a mental health professional can respond or until the crisis is resolved. Mental health first aid aims to:

  • Preserve life when a person may be a danger to themselves or others
  • Prevent the problem from becoming more serious
  • Promote recovery
  • Provide comfort and support
  • Help to identify or guide a person to an appropriate mental health professional for support

According to Youth Mental Health First Aid USA (First Edition Revised 2016 Statistical Update), mental health first aid teaches how to recognize symptoms of mental health problems, how to provide initial help in a mental health crisis and how to guide a person toward appropriate treatment and support. Mental health first aid does not teach how to diagnose or provide therapy.

Youth Mental Health First Aid USA and their certification program is sponsored by Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services. Classes are offered several times a year throughout the county. You do not need to be a healthcare professional to become a Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Responder. For more information, contact Kim Adkins, Parish Health Minister or Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services at (937) 433-0416.

Kim Adkins, R.N.
Parish Health Minister
Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Responder
(937) 434-6081
Living Healthy

Protecting Your Child’s Mental and Emotional Health
Good nutrition in childhood can help build a foundation for good health throughout a person’s life. Similar long-lasting benefits can be found in building strong emotional and mental health from childhood through adolescence. By fostering our children’s emotional development and addressing any mental health issues that might arise, we can help ensure children enter adulthood with the resilience and confidence to cope with life’s ups and downs.

What’s the Difference Between Emotional and Mental Health?
Most of us understand how a healthy diet and secure home can promote a child’s physical well-being. But we might not be as clear on how we can support our children’s emotional and mental well-being. First, it helps to know what these terms mean.

  • Emotional health refers to how we express our feelings and react to the world around us. Anxiety, fear and low self-esteem are examples of possible emotional health issues.
  • Mental health refers to how we process or think about information. It can be affected by biochemical factors in the brain that can result in depression, bipolar disorder and issues with attention and hyperactivity.

Obviously, these two factors are very closely related. For example, a mental health condition like depression can affect your child’s emotional reaction to things that happen at home and in school. But each of these issues requires separate attention from parents and teachers.

Building Strong Emotional Health
One of the most important ways we can help our children grow into emotionally healthy adults is by modeling healthy behavior ourselves. Children quickly pick up on the ways adults around them respond to stress, anger and disappointments. Experts say we can also nurture our kids’ emotional health by providing:

  • Unconditional love
  • Opportunities for play with other children
  • Encouraging and nurturing teachers and other caretakers
  • Safe and secure surroundings
  • Appropriate guidance and discipline

Addressing Mental Health Concerns To ensure our children’s mental health, we need to pay attention to conversations and behaviors at home and in school. The American Psychological Association estimates about 15 million young people in the United States can currently be diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Even more children could be at risk because of their family history. Helping children and their families manage difficulties early in life could help prevent mental health problems down the road.
Getting assistance can begin with a school counselor or social worker. These professionals can give you advice and referrals. Your child’s pediatrician can be another resource if you are concerned about your child’s mental health. Treatment options, including therapy and inpatient treatment, could be covered by your health insurance policy. But be sure to check with your insurer and also make sure the doctors or therapists you choose are in your plan’s network.

Approved Volunteers

When organizing an official St. Charles activity involving children, please check the list below to make sure that your adult volunteers are approved to serve with children. For legal reasons, St. Charles Parish cannot publish a list of people who are prohibited from volunteering around children due to abuse. If an adult volunteer is not on the approved volunteer list, it could be for a variety of reasons. Most of the time it means that the person got behind on their bulletins and became inactive. Please have your volunteer contact Steve Morris and he can help resolve the issue. If your volunteer has not attended a Virtus ® class, please have them visit Virtus Online to create a Virtus® account and sign up for a Child Protection training class. Training times and locations can be found under the training tab by clicking on the Live Training link.

The next Virtus bulletin will be published on December 2, 2019
What to do...

If you witness or even suspect child abuse in any form, call 911 immediately!

Then, if the abuse took place on parish property, please contact Steve Morris at (937) 401-0521. Every report will be investigated by the Police, Child Protective Services, and/or St. Charles Parish and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati! Remember, you are a key part of our Child Protection team!
Stay Up-to-Date on VIRTUS ® Training

The VIRTUS ® program is designed to educate our volunteers and parishioners on important child safety concerns. Knowledge is power but only when you put it to good use.
I f something doesn't seem right—let us know!
Stephen B. Morris
Business Manager
937-401-0521 (direct)
Linking to third party websites referenced herein does not constitute endorsement of the third party organization by St. Charles Borromeo Parish, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, or the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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