SJR State Psychology Club members receive Mental Health First Responder certification, will host hostage negotiator workshop

Psychology ClubFive students and two faculty members from the Orange Park campus of St. Johns River State College recently received the Mental Health First Responder certification from Mental Health America of Northeast Florida. This course teaches the first responder how to apply the Mental Health First Aid action plan in a variety of situations.

Anthony Carboni, Ph.D., faculty advisor for SJR State’s Psychology Club, who also received this certification, stated that he and those trained are now certified to provide referral services to students at SJR State. “We underwent an in-person training that teaches first responders how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis, or one developing a problem related to a mental illness,” Carboni explained.

The mission of SJR State’s Psychology Club on the Orange Park campus is to raise awareness of mental health issues and dispel myths and misconceptions surrounding mental illness. The club has been gradually building a membership of students with an interest in psychology and those who would like to pursue a career in the field. Membership is also open to students who would like to incorporate knowledge from their psychology courses into their academic and professional goals, such as nursing, education, social work and development outside of the classroom.

In an effort to expose club members and students to information about a variety of psychology-related careers, the Psychology Club is preparing to kick off its third semester hosting workshops with experts in their fields.

On March 7, Sergeant Brian Shorette, team leader of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Crisis Negotiation Team and the president of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators, will be the guest speaker. Sergeant Shorette, who has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in national security, will share information about his career and the steps required to work in that field. The event will take place at 1:00 p.m. at the Thrasher- Horne Center, located on the Orange Park campus of SJR State.

The Psychology Club has established affiliations with Clay Behavioral Health Center in Middleburg, Mental Health America of Northeast Florida, AmeriCorps, and One Love Foundation of New York. Carboni and current Psychology Club members have also been trained and certified to facilitate escalation workshops for One Love Foundation to help others identify relationship violence and decrease it. Additionally, collaborations are underway for the training and certification of Psychology Club members to deliver a nationally recognized anti-bullying workshop to students in local K-12 schools.

The club is recruiting new members and meets each Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. in building “D.” For additional information about SJR State’s Psychology Club or the crisis negotiation workshop, contact Carboni at (904) 276-6821 or e-mail .


SJR State Psychology Club members and faculty receive Mental Health First Responder certification from Mental Health America of Northeast Florida’s Mental Health First Aid program.

Front row, L-R: Amber Drew, Robert Drake Shirley, Professor Anthony Carboni, Professor Dawn Bergeron, Allison Gendreau

Second row, L-R: Emily Anne Bright, Natasha Wilbanks