SOAR Coaching Academy is participating in the John Maxwell Global Youth Initiative in April 2019
#GYIPittsburghApril 4 Weekends in 4 Communities
Every year in April and October, John Maxwell Team Members for all over the world participate in youth workshops and events. This year for 4 weekends in April, SOAR Coaching Academy will be in 4 communities in Pittsburgh PA!
Anita D Russell, Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor
“On a mission to make Mental Health First Aid as common as CPR.”
During Mental Health Month 2018 I enrolled in the Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training course offered through Steel Smiling. I had never heard of Mental Health First Aid; however, once I realized what it was all about, I understood its dire necessity. MFHA is also how I got introduced to Julius Boatwright, Founding CEO of Steel Smiling, and all-around amazing human being. So between the training and Julius, the trajectory of my life got a new bend. Flash forward to 2019 when I received an invitation to attend the training to become an MFHA Certified Instructor. So, here I am.
On a personal level, there are three key reasons why I decided to go down the path of becoming a Mental Health First Aid instructor and bringing this information into the community.
The negativity and the stigma associated with mental health and mental illness is pervasive across society and needs to change.
In certain communities, a somewhat checkered racial history has created an air of mistrust, preventing people from seeking help. (Think Tuskegee 626, Henrietta Lacks or Medical Apartheid.)
I’ve had first-hand personal experience being in a state of compromised mental health.
LIFE THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS Moving back to my home city of Pittsburgh has been quite an adventure, especially from the standpoint of relaunching my business and television show. I am please to announce that The Place to SOAR TV is launching a new edition in my home city of Pittsburgh PA. The show is a part of the community television network, originally created at Princeton Community TV in New Jersey; hence the new name The Place to SOAR NJE (New Jersey Edition). I believe in the power of public access television and am proud to be a part of the community here in Pittsburgh.
Now I am so pleased to launch the show in Pittsburgh with Pittsburgh Community TV; hence The Place to SOAR GTE (Golden Triangle Edition). The first three episodes are an introduction to the show, a segment on community policing, and a segment on Liberating TAMAR, a nonprofit organization that strives to heal those who have been impacted by trauma.
FIRST PITTSBURGH GUESTS My first Pittsburgh guests are an entrepreneurial couple, Vicky and Michael, from North Versailles. They are working with Idea Foundry and Penn State University Greater Allegheny to launch a healthy soul food business. I met them serendipitously at an OMA Pittsburgh event, Food for the Soul. Food for the Soul is indeed what Vicky, a spiritual chef, provides for her customers. Production for a 3-part documentary begins on January 4 with a kickoff planning meeting. Three parts of one story – the personal, the business, and the collaborative, all in line with my motto: Do more to SOAR!
Working with Steel Smiling Pittsburgh founder, Julius Boatwright, I am searching for a group of 25 individuals who (1) believe there is a need for greater public mental health awareness, (2) agree that myths and stigmas associated with mental health need to be busted and (3) are willing to contribute to improving mental health knowledge and skills for first responders. This is a profound need and we have the tools to provide the right knowledge and skills.
By the way, Mental Health First Aid Training offers sessions focused on youth and adults.