Youth Mental Health First Aid
Youth Mental Health First Aid is a public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenge or crisis in youth (ages 12-18), builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and most importantly – teaches individuals how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use 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.
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 adapt the Australian youth manual for US audiences. Mental Health First Aid USA is grateful for the support from the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch at the Center for Mental Health Services of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services in the development of the youth manual.
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, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, participants learn a core five-step action plan to support an adolescent developing signs and symptoms of mental illness or in an emotional crisis.
WHO SHOULD TAKE THE COURSE?
The course is designed for adults whom regularly interact with adolescents, but may also be appropriate for older adolescents (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. Anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth – teachers, athletic coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals – may find the course content useful. The core Mental Health First Aid course has been successfully offered to a variety of audiences including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.
For more information please visit: www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org