Brandon, MS (May 8, 2019) – As part of the School Safety Act, Rankin County School District has partnered with Region 8 Mental Health Services to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid teacher training and to provide a mental/behavioral health professional and a nurse (with psychiatric certification) for all schools who do not presently have one. Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to train teachers and school staff how to help an individual who is experiencing mental health issues, addictions, challenges, or crises. The goal is to provide mental/behavioral health services and support to every school and student within the Rankin County School District, in addition to our school counselors and current nurses who serve multiple locations. Region 8 presently services students within Rankin County School District but this would allow all students those same services on the school campus. Due to the time needed for Region 8 Mental Health Services to find and hire the best candidates with the correct certification, this program will begin in August 2019 but could possibly take up to a year to staff each school. We are excited about this partnership with Region 8 Mental Health Services, which will enable us to enhance the mental health services for our Rankin County School District students and families.