Strengthening Families

Mental Health First Aid for Youth

Description: Mental Health First Aid introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health programs and reviews common treatments. The program has demonstrated effectiveness in improving trainees' knowledge of mental disorders, reducing the stigma associated with mental illness and increasing the amount of help provided to others.

Curriculum/program overview: Youth Mental Health First Aid programming focuses on how to recognize signs of psychological issues, addiction challenges or other crises in adolescents (age 12 to 18). Program materials are designed for parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens. Participants in the 8-hour course become certified as Mental Health First Aiders for Youth. They learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an adolescent in crisis and in non-crisis situations connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. Program overview

The 8-hour Mental Health First Aid USA course has benefited a variety of audiences and key professions, including primary care professionals, employers and business leaders, faith communities, school personnel and educators, state police and corrections officers, nursing home staff, mental health authorities, state policymakers, volunteers, young people, families and the general public.

Contact person: Alison Copeland

Evaluation tool: extension.missouri.edu/hes/evaluation/evaluationforms.htm

Fee information: Workbook cost. Public good program. Most sessions funded through grants and sponsorships.

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