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 problems in adolescents. The program, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. 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.
- Length: 8 hour certification (2 four-hour sessions)
- Target Audience: 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.
Note: Youth Mental Health First Aid is not specifically designed for parents of youth with mental health challenges. Although parents & families may find the course content useful, the course provides a basic level of information and guidance, rather than more in-depth information on navigating the healthcare system, which parents may wish to explore.