Priority Health provides mental health first aid training to professionals serving people experiencing homelessness

(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — May 25, 2023) In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Priority Health, a nationally recognized nonprofit health plan serving more than 1.3 million members, sponsored Mental Health First Aid Training for up to 30 individuals from organizations in Grand Rapids that work closely with people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.

In 2020, Grand Rapids Coalition to End Homelessness reported more than 8,000 people experienced at least one episode of homelessness in Kent County. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, many experiencing homelessness have high rates of chronic and co-occurring health conditions, including mental and substance use disorders.

“Teams that serve individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness are on the front lines and often the only support system they may encounter that day,” said Jeff Greshak, director of behavioral health at Priority Health. “Training teams to recognize signs for mental health and substance use challenges is critical to reducing crises. Priority Health is committed to providing access, education and resources to support Michiganders at every stage of their mental health journey.”

The training was held on Wednesday, May 24 at City Life Church in Grand Rapids. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches individuals how to identify, understand and respond to the signs of mental illness and substance use among adults. Through an interactive session, participants build the skills and confidence to reduce the stigma and guide people toward help.

About Priority Health:

With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering an extensive portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Serving more than 1.3 million members each year and offering a broad network of primary care physicians in Michigan, Priority Health continues to be recognized as a leader for quality, customer service, transparency and product innovation. Learn more about affordable, quality health coverage options from Priority Health