Youth Mental Health First Aid is similar to “First Aid” and “CPR.” It teaches individuals how to respond in a mental health emergency and offer support to a young person who appears to be in emotional distress. Just as you don’t have to be a highly educated medical professional to give “First Aid” and “CPR,” you don’t have to have a background as a mental health professional to provide Mental Health First Aid.
The National Council for Behavioral Health certifies individuals to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) courses to prepare community members with the knowledge and skills to help youth and young adults experiencing mental health crises and emotional distress. Identified on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, the training helps the public better identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses.
Youth Mental Health First Aid is:
- A health literacy program
- About people helping people, one-on-one
- For individuals who do not have any background as a mental health professional
Youth Mental Health First Aid is not:
- A disaster response program
- A peer support group
- Counseling, therapy, or other professional help
Who will benefit from YMHFA?
The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with youth and young adults: parents, foster parents, legal guardians, and other family members; teachers, school counselors, and other school staff; faith-based groups; employers; community health care workers; juvenile justice workers; peers (16 yrs. and older); law enforcement and general public.
Who developed MHFA?
In 2001, Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm developed the Mental Health First Aid Training and Research Program in Australia. They granted permission for Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Missouri Department of Mental Health, and the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare to reproduce and update this copyrighted material for the purposes of improving the mental health knowledge and skills of the United States public in responding to early stage mental illness and mental health crises.
The following agencies are acknowledged for their contributions and commitment to ensure that the manual for training is family driven and youth guided, culturally competent, grounded in good clinical practice, and inclusive of relevant and useful information to guide adults assisting young people with mental health challenges and disorders. These agencies include: National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Mental Health Association of Maryland, Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, Maryland Child and Adolescent Innovation Institute, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Northwestern Connecticut AHEC and AmeriCorps.
How do I get trained in Nebraska?
Central Nebraska Area Health Education Center (CN-AHEC) is hosting a training in Grand Island in January.
When: January 9, 2015 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Registration begins at 7:30 am)
Where: College Park (3180 W. Hwy 34, Grand Island, NE 68801)
Cost: FREE (does not include lunch). The cost of this course is regularly $50/person. Funding from our sponsors covers the cost.
To register: Call 308-385-6677
Class size is limited to 25 participants so register early to secure your spot!
The YMHFA training is sponsored by Central Nebraska Area Health Education Center (CN-AHEC), BHECN-Kearney, College Park, Grand Island Community Foundation, and the Principal Financial Group.