Hartford, Conn. (November 22, 2019) – Capital Community College has responded to new legislation requiring emergency medical services providers complete mental health first aid training by offering the only program in the state that will ‘train the trainers’ needed to deliver this critical – and mandated – professional instruction.
When the Connecticut General Assembly passed Public Act 19-191 – An Act Addressing Opioid Use – last July, it required that all new emergency medical services providers – both paramedics and EMTs – complete mental health first aid training; this training, in turn, must be part of a program provided by an instructor certified by the National Council for Behavioral Health. The law, which took effect on October 1, 2019, applies to anyone applying to be an EMT or paramedic after January 1, 2020.
“This provision in the state’s opioid use prevention legislation ensures that Connecticut’s first responders are trained to effectively and compassionately recognize patients in mental health crisis, and provides them with the tools to begin treatment on first contact,” stated Daniel Tauber, MEd, CCEMTP, NRP, NCEE, EMS-I, Chair of Capital’s Health Careers and Public Safety department and Professor and Program Director of its Paramedic Program. “Until a sufficient number of individuals are certified by the National Council of Behavioral Heal to instruct our state’s EMTs and Paramedics, there may be a delay in certifying or licensing new first responders.”
The opioid component of mental health first aid teaches participants common risk factors for overdose, signs and symptoms of overdose and necessary steps for administering naloxone, a lifesaving overdose-reversal drug. Participants also learn the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and how to recognize whether a person has been administered naloxone or not.
The first class of thirty – which filled immediate upon its offering – will be held January 13 through 17, 2020. Registration is currently being accepted for the next session, which is scheduled for March. This is a non-credit course, and the cost is $1,800; there are no prerequisites. To find out more, contact Odile Dilone, Continuing Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Professor Tauber at email@example.com, 860-906-5153.
Capital is also the only state college to offer a paramedic program. The Capital Community College Paramedic Program is the oldest continuously operating paramedic education program in Connecticut. In 1993, Capital Community College Paramedic Program was the first program in the state, and the second in all of New England, to earn national accreditation from The Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions
About The National Council for Behavioral Health
The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s health care organizations that deliver mental health and addictions treatment and services. Together with our 3,326 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 2 million Americans have been trained.
About Capital Community College
Capital Community College is an urban, two-year institution enrolling more than 3,000 students in Connecticut’s capital city. The college offers 60 academic programs in accredited studies preparing students for associate degrees, certificates and transfer, while its non-credit offerings prepare students for the immediate needs of the Connecticut workforce. Capital is one of New England’s most diverse campuses with a 67 percent minority enrollment and was the first college in Connecticut to be designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution. The Capital Community College experience revolves around its historic eleven-story, Art Deco building in the heart of downtown Hartford, which offers unprecedented access to the city’s cultural and employment offerings.