Scouts must Be Prepared to “Help other People at ALL times” – Our Scout Oath and Law don’t distinguish who “people” should be or when help may be needed. Lord Baden-Powell, Founder of Scouting, when asked by a reporter: “Be Prepared, why for what?” replied simply, “Why, for ANY old thing!” First Aid skills come in many forms. This year, Boy Scout Troop 142 sponsored the Youth Mental Health First Aid Training on Saturday, 8 September. This training was given by the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) at North Stafford Baptist Church in Stafford, VA.
This course used role-playing to teach participants to offer assistance in a mental health crisis. Participants learned the common risk factors and warning signs of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They also put community resources and how to find correct help right at our finger tips. Participating Scouts and others who attended are now Better Prepared to provide initial help to young people experiencing problems.
September was National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month—a time to share resources and stories in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, ages 15-24, according to national statistics. Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues.
While suicide prevention is important to address year-round, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month provides a dedicated time to come together with collective passion and strength around a difficult topic. The truth is, we can all benefit from honest conversations about mental health conditions and suicide, because just one conversation can change a life.
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
- If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.
Please do your part to help ensure that no one is alone on their mental health journey.