Youth Mental Health First Aid

  • Teachers
  • School Staff
  • Youth Group Leaders
  • Parents

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, 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 to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying the core five-step action plan.
 

WHO can be a mental health first aider?

Youth Mental Health First Aid will help you identify the risk factors for suicide...

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 being tested for appropriateness within older adolescent groups (16 and older) 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 hundreds of thousands of people across the USA, including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.

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.​


  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for youth between the ages of 10 and 24, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
  • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined.
  • It results in approximately 4600 lives lost each year.
  • Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,400 suicide attempts by young people grades 7-12.
  • Four out of five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.
  • Kids who are bullied are more than twice as likely to consider suicide, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.