Community outreach program launches new mental health training to help lower crime

Community outreach program launches new mental health training to help lower crime
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 5:19 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs (UMADAOP) is launching a series of training sessions that they hope will translate to less crime.

The non-profit is looking at the crime problem from a mental health standpoint.

Outreach workers with UMADAOP have been active in the community for 40 years now. Helping with drug addiction, prevention and job training to show families a better way of life.

“We have some great success stories,” explained UMADAOP Youth Prevention Specialist Twala Taylor. “We have people in our agency that are operating in recovery for years almost 10 years 12 years.”

Now, UMADAOP is launching a new effort to help tackle mental health needs with a 12-week training session for anyone who needs or wants it.

“We’re going to learn how to diffuse negative behaviors with our youth,” explained UMADAOP Community Programs Coordinator Gina Hawkins. “We’re going to discuss cognitive behavior skills. We’re going to work on gun control and prevention.”

For the next 12 weeks, UMADAOP will have classes on Mondays taught by medical professionals at the Downtown Cincinnati Public Library, which can also be attended through Zoom.

Each week a new skill will be taught to help manage and overcome, stress, anxiety and trauma.

After the training is complete, each person will become a certified Community Mental Health Advocate and will get $25 dollars.

“I think that is so impactful because we are getting right to the root of the matter with our young people because sometimes it’s just pushed aside as if you’re not depressed go sit down you’re okay,” said UMADAOP Executive Director Leah Dennis-Ellsworth. “They’re not okay and we are giving them a platform to understand that we are here. We get it and we understand.”

The first session of the certified mental health training starts at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 16.

You don’t have to register. You can simply show up at the downtown library on Vine Street, and they will take care of everything.

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