Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $1,000,000)
This project trains staff and students on Green Dot, Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA), Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA), and Too Good for Violence (TGFV). Green Dot is a bystander intervention program that is an evidence-informed practice to increase active-bystander behaviors and reduce violence. Green Dot reduces violence acceptance at school and has been tested in rural communities like ours. YMHFA and tMHFA address gaps in mental health literacy by teaching skills to adults and teenagers to identify and help individuals experiencing emotional distress. Numerous studies, including rural places, have found YMHFA and tMHFA to be effective. TGFV is a school-based violence prevention and character education program. The program for 9th grade through 12th grade includes a drug prevention component and is designed to promote high school students with pro-social skills, positive character traits, and violence-/drug-free norms. The service area is Knott County Central High School (KCCHS) in Hindman, Kentucky. Primary beneficiaries will be students in grades 9–12 enrolled in KCCHS. Using the school as a “bright spot,” safety will be improved through student voice initiatives and expansion of training to families and community members. This program will provide direct training to students and adults that support them: school staff, law enforcement, social services, and families.