Communities Rally for Troubled Teens

Do you know how to assist a teen experiencing a mental health need?

Morgan Guidance facilitates classes and collaborates with the National Council for Behavioral Health. Our goal is to make mental health first aid as familiar as CPR.

The Washington Post had this to say on the topic of comparing mental health first aid to CPR:

If someone suddenly collapsed and appeared to be having a heart attack, you wouldn’t just walk on by, right? You’d at least call 911. You’d likely stay with the person while the ambulance was coming. And if you were trained, you might even start CPR. Chances are that human decency would motivate you to do something.

So why is it that when we see obvious signs of mental or emotional crisis in a friend, colleague, or even a casual acquaintance, our first reaction is to withdraw? We typically consider behavioral health issues too personal for our intervention, out of bounds for anyone but a family member or a very close friend.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is an international public health campaign designed to equip citizens for readiness and intervention. First Aiders are trained to recognize when a young person is suffering from a mental health challenge or a substance abuse disorder. Once trained, law enforcement, teachers, youth workers, camp counselors, scout leaders, college RAs, and more will be prepared to respond to common challenges experienced by teens and young adults.

What sort of training is involved in learning mental health first aid? You will learn to recognize depression and mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis, and substance use disorders.

You will also learn how to help people suffering from mental illness with both recovery and resiliency, which means helping people get better and learn to use their strengths to stay mentally healthy.

You can also learn an action plan for mental health first aid that covers the following items:

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Assessing for risk of suicide or harm

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Listening non-judgmentally

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Giving reassurance and information

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Encouraging appropriate professional help

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Encouraging self-help and offering other support strategies

The above covers everything from recognizing concerning behaviors in an individual to remembering that people do get better when they receive the help they need. One resource says that,

It is important to recognize that mental illnesses and addictions are real, treatable illnesses from which people can and do recover. When talking to someone you believe may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, approach the conversation with respect and dignity and don’t blame the individual for his or her symptoms. Mental Health First Aid provides information and resources you can offer to someone to provide emotional support and practical help.

Morgan Guidance consultant Elaine Morgan has trained over 500 individuals in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
Join us as we aim for one million trained across the USA. Call Morgan Guidance today and schedule a class for your organization, clients, or parent group. Together we can bring change of mind regarding mental health awareness in Florida and reduce the stigma and isolation that often accompanies addiction and mental illness.

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