Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8 hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.
WHAT WILL PARTICIPANTS LEARN?
The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD) and more. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling -rather, participants learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step action plan called ALGEE:
- Assess for risk of suicide or harm
- Listen nonjudgmentally
- Give reassurance and information
- Encourage appropriate professional help
- Encourage self-help and other support strategies
The Youth Mental Health First Aid USA curriculum is primarily focused on information participants can use to help adolescents and transition-age youth, ages 12-18.
WHO SHOULD TAKE THE COURSE?
The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents (teachers, school staff, coaches, youth group leaders, parents, etc.), but is also appropriate for older adolescent groups (16 and older, in leadership positions) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. In January 2013, President Obama recommended training for teachers in Mental Health First Aid. Since 2008, the core Mental Health First Aid course has been successfully offered to more than 500,000 people across the USA, including health, human services and social workers, employers and business leaders, faith communities, school personnel, law enforcement and public safety officials, veterans and family members, persons with mental illness-addictions and their families, and other caring citizens. Be 1 in a Million — Sign Up Today!
WHO CREATED THE COURSE?
Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Mental Health First Aid USA worked with experts at the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development to develop the youth program.
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE?
To learn more about the Mental Health First Aid USA, or to find a course or contact an instructor in your area, visit www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org.