Surviving to Thriving

Surviving to Thriving professional development seminars are free and open to the public. Our vision is for Pittsburgh to become a model for best practices in social & emotional learning and in trauma informed care & resilience. 

On June 15 Anita D Russell, creator of SOAR Coaching Academy, will be speaking at the OMA Pittsburgh Surviving to Thriving, Bridging the Gaps: Working Together to Support Holistic Wellness Throughout Pittsburgh.

She will speak on the topic of Mental Health First Aid and what’s in it for us as a society to change the paradigm of how we view mental health and wellness. Anita is a Mental Health First Aid instructor, receiving the certification through the Allegheny Health Choices Inc.

June 15 | 10 AM – 3 PM
Winchester Thurston Upper School Building
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Community Mental Health First Aid Training

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.

Get involved and help spread the movement in your community.
Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to proactively identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in your community.


Click here to complete contact form to stay informed of MHFA training offered by The Place to SOAR.

From Surviving to Thriving: Summer 2018

The Place to SOAR  recently participated in a half-day workshop focused on youth, where parents, educators and mentors came together to learn holistic skills for the healthy development of our young people–in mind, body, and spirit.


SOAR Workshop — Positive Self-Image: Are You Up to PAR?

As one of the workshop leaders, I guided the audience in a discussion of the importance of positive self-image in youth. Specifically, we will examine self-image through the lens of bullying thoughts, actions and behaviors and how it all links to personal accountability and responsibility (PAR). We discussed the need for leadership, influence and connection in bullying intervention and prevention.

Did you know?
1) 70% of teens do not have a positive self-image
2) Peers play varying roles in the bully experience
3) Bullying is your business

PAR: Personal Accountability and Responsibility
Bullying is Everybody’s Business
Leadership | Influence | Connection

Take Action Today
User Guides are available to broaden the understanding of various roles such as community leaders, faith leaders, educators, administrators, parents. etc. Guides are available for 11 different audiences

Sample Guide – Understanding the Roles of School Administrators in Community-Wide Bullying Prevention Efforts


This Road Map helped to guide our discussion.

 


Do you know about the KnowBullying Prevention App?
Read about it…learn how you can help.