L-R is Mason Choice of Newport schools, Steven Peterson of Every Student Initiative, Dawn Sanford and Wendy Flynn of Tiverton schools, and Patricia Chalmers of Newport schools

Newport, RI – Mental Health First Aid USA trainers from Newport Mental Health and the Newport County YMCA certified educators from Newport and Tiverton schools along with a representative from the Portsmouth student-led mental health advocacy group, Every Student Initiative recently.

“We are so pleased to lead this effort of mental health awareness, which aligns with the missions of both the YMCA and Newport Mental Health,” said Newport County YMCA CEO Mike Miller, referring to the national Mental Health First Aid certification course. In addition, the Newport County YMCA and NMH jointly launched the “#IAMWHOLE” campaign last month. The campaign, which began with the United Kingdom YMCAs, seeks to encourage all people to challenge harmful language and negative stigma surrounding mental health as well as encourage people to seek professional help.

The Youth Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour national certification course that teaches participants how to respond to youth ages 12-21 years old, who may be struggling with a mental health disorder and how to guide them to appropriate help. Similar to CPR training, the course educates participants about the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders and uses hands-on activities with real-life scenarios to practice responding to a variety of situations.

“Youth Mental Health First Aid is not only practical, it is necessary and vital for anyone who works with children and adolescents,” said CEO Jamie Lehane of NMH. “With over 30 percent of the adolescents diagnosed with anxiety, it’s so important that they receive treatment early in life to avoid more serious setbacks as they get older.”

The mission of Newport Mental Health is to improve the lives of children, adults and families living and working in Newport County by providing the highest quality, recovery-oriented, evidence-based and integrated mental health and substance use care. NMH serves clients in Jamestown, Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton, and Little Compton.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.