KRA’s Leadership Edge Convening Focuses on Mental Health First Aid Certification
As part of this commitment, KRA launched Leadership Edge (LE), a comprehensive yearlong professional-development program to nurture leaders and future leaders.
LE equips individuals with the competencies needed for management- and executive-level success, fostering their growth and preparing them for their next role.
This year’s fall session will convene, October 18-19, in Chicago, “home” to the KRA Westside American Job Center and Chatham Workforce and Education Center, operated for the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership, the largest WDB in the country.
Many factors influence each year’s LE agenda, especially training to address evidence-based challenges that affect KRA employees and jobseeker-customers. We are experiencing a national mental health crisis in this post-pandemic era:
- On average, 132 people die by suicide every day (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention).
- From 2020 to 2022, more than 300,000 died from drug overdoses (Census for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Nearly 1 in 5 in the U.S. lives with a mental illness (National Institute of Mental Health)
- 62% of employees say they want leadership to speak openly about mental health (Forbes)
These alarming figures highlight the urgent need for leaders to be equipped with the tools to address mental health challenges within the organization. With this in mind, the LE Program dedicates the first day to preparing KRA’s Leadership team for Mental Health Fist Aid Certification through a skills-based course facilitated by the National Council for Mental Well-Being. Participants will learn to identify, understand, and respond appropriately to mental health and substance use challenges, especially those that impede effective training or successful employment.
This convening presents a unique opportunity for leaders to prioritize mental health and gain valuable skills to support their teams effectively. By becoming certified in Mental Health First Aid, leaders will emerge as advocates for mental health, equipped with the knowledge to offer empathetic support to those in need, fostering a mentally healthy workplace culture that ultimately benefits KRA leaders and staff, as well as our jobseeker customers.
The program’s second day will focus on community impact and kick-off KRA’s Workforce Innovation Lab.
In a world where mental health is gaining recognition as a crucial aspect of overall well-being, this convening serves as a necessary stepping-stone towards a future where leaders are not only successful, but compassionate and understanding as well.