United Way of Northwest Vermont
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Meet Erica

Erica recently became a certified trainer in Mental Health First Aid, a national training program that teaches participants to identify and respond to symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorder. Erica is one of 10 community members the United Way’s Mental Health Initiative is supporting with MHFA training as part of our work to more than double the number of mental health first aid trainers in the state.

Erica McLaughlin has been in the education field for 25 years and learned about the importance of “trauma transformed” schools early on. As a co-principal at Randolph Elementary School, Erica saw rising mental health needs and increased family stress in her community long before the pandemic.

In her current role at the Vermont Principal Association, Erica is helping principals across the state support their students, staff, and communities in a time of skyrocketing youth mental health crisis.

“It’s a similar story across the state. More children and more families are under stress. More staff are under stress,” Erica said. Erica joined United Way’s Mental Health Initiative to be part of the solution and to connect with other sectors to find solutions.

“There’s hope because a lot more people are talking about the need for mental health supports within schools – including for staff, not just for children. Those conversations weren’t happening before.”

United Way of Northwest Vermont*** May 30, 2023