Youth mental health first aid trainings planned

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BROOKINGS – Two youth Mental Health First Aid trainings will be June 1 and June 8 at Dakota Prairie Elementary School in Brookings. 

The course is eight hours and gives 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. 

The goal of training is to help support an individual until appropriate professional help arrives. Mental Health First Aiders learn a strategy that includes: Assessing risk, respectfully listening to and supporting the individual in crisis, identifying appropriate professional help and other supports. 

Participants are introduced to risk factors and warning signs for mental health or substance use problems. They will engage in experiential activities that build understanding of the impact of illness on individuals and families and will learn 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 youth 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. 

Deadline to register for the June 1 training is May 24. Deadline to register for the June 8 training is May 31. Contact Heidi Gullickson, Brookings Area United Way, at [email protected] or 692-4979 for more information or register at https://brookingsunitedway.org/mental-health-training/.

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