BROOKINGS – Brookings Area United Way recently hosted two, eight-hour Youth Mental Health First Aid courses that give people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis, such as contemplating suicide.
This is an evidence-based program widely used throughout the United States.
Twenty-four individuals were trained in supporting an individual until appropriate professional help arrives.
The Youth Mental Health First Aiders learned a strategy that includes: assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, identifying appropriate professional help and other supports.
The participants were introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems, engaged in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families, and learned about evidence-supported treatment and self-help strategies.
Youth Mental Health First Aid is intended for people and organizations that make up the fabric of a community.
Professionals who regularly interact with people such as teachers, police officers, nurses, human resource directors, primary care workers, school/college leadership, faith communities, and friends and family of individuals with mental illness or addiction, and community members are encouraged to attend.
Other upcoming trainings include Adverse Childhood Experiences, Adult Mental Health First Aid and Question, Persuade, Refer. To learn more, visit https://brookingsunitedway.org/trainings/.