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Youth Mental Health First Aid

An Interactive Training

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, law enforcement, scout and camp leaders, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent or emerging young adult (age 12-22) who may experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or who is in crisis.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

Just as CPR helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Youth Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.

Interventions Learned

When you take a course, you learn how to apply the Youth Mental Health First Aid action plan in a variety of situations, including when someone is experiencing:

  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • Acute psychosis (e.g., hallucinations or delusions)
  • Overdose or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use
  • Reaction to a traumatic event

The opportunity to practice — through role plays, scenarios, and activities — makes it easier to apply these skills in a real-life situation.

Why It Matters

  • Because sometimes PEOPLE DON’T KNOW HOW TO ASK FOR HELP
  • Because THERE IS A SUICIDE EVERY 12.8 MINUTES
  • Because WE CAN ALL BE MORE INFORMED AND MORE AWARE