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Boy Scout Leaders Get Mental-Health First-Aid Training: Fidelity Bank, The SHINE Initiative, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Nashua Valley Boy Scouts of America Unveil Pioneering Program

Program Will Be Made Available to Boy and Girl Scout Councils Across Massachusetts

LEOMINSTER, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/13/14 -- A Boy Scout leader can bind a sprained ankle or even give CPR, but some Scouts have emotional problems that are tougher to fix. Now, adult leaders with the Nashua Valley Council will be able to give troubled Scouts mental-health first aid.

Ed Manzi, chairman & CEO of Fidelity Bank, a community bank with offices across Central Massachusetts, announced the initiative when he accepted the council's annual Distinguished Citizen Award at a ceremony in Leominster. The award recognizes people who work hard to help the community and its people.

The council and The SHINE Initiative, a nonprofit that works to promote mental illness in children and teens as a mainstream health issue, teamed up to create the trailblazing initiative. Nashua Valley Council scout leaders will be trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid, an international evidence-based program. The program will be made available to Boy Scout councils later this year and then offered to Girl Scout groups across Massachusetts, Manzi said. There are an estimated 51,000 boys and 60,000 girls enrolled in Scouting programs in Massachusetts.

"This program will result in Scout leaders being better able to identify, relate to, and help a young person who is living with a mental illness," he said.

Paul Richard, The SHINE Initiative executive director, said the training will give Scout leaders information they need to identify signs of possible mental illness. "They're going to be able to assess and listen to someone in crisis," he said.

Manzi, chairman of The SHINE Initiative, added: "This is a powerful step toward achieving the much-talked-about but seldom-achieved parity between mental health and physical health issues in a grass-roots way. It has the potential to change thousands of lives for the better over the years."

The crisis in youth mental health spurred the creation of The SHINE Initiative in 2004. Manzi said 50 percent of lifetime cases of chronic mental illness begin by age 14, and more than two-thirds of young people living with mental illness are not receiving treatment.

The Shine Initiative (www.shineinitiative.org), which works to destigmatize mental illness in children and young adults and make it a mainstream health issue in Central Massachusetts, has raised more than $900,000 with help from Fidelity Bank and other organizations.

About Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Bank -- one of the oldest and continually growing independent, local community banks in Central Massachusetts -- offers a full range of banking, investment and insurance products and programs, and has full-service offices in Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Millbury, Shirley, and Worcester.

Fidelity has received a "5-Star" rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation's leading independent bank rating and research firm. Fidelity earned this rating by excelling in the areas of capital adequacy, profitability and asset quality. In addition, Fidelity has been named one of the Top Places to Work in Massachusetts by the Boston Globe for three years in a row.

Since 1888, the bank has remained committed to businesses, families and individuals in the communities it serves; in turn, loyalty demonstrated by members of those cities and towns has allowed the bank to become one of the strongest financial institutions in the region.

Today, Fidelity Bank is well capitalized and has total assets of $565 million. The FDIC and the Share Insurance Fund insure 100% of all deposits. Equal Housing Lender. Member FDIC. Member SIF.

For further information, visit www.fidelitybankonline.com or call 800.581.5363.

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Catherine Dillon
[email protected]

Henry Stimpson
Stimpson Communications
[email protected]

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