THE T.U.F.F SERVICES MINISTRIES™    
                                        

Religious and Nonreligious Pastoral Coaching, Counseling and Relief Service

 
 
What Is Youth Mental Health First Aid


One in five Americans has a mental illness and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect — even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment – which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. As a society, we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, and we ignore our role as responsible community members to help people experiencing these illnesses.

Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8 hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or 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 the  5-step ALGEE 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 — even if you have no clinical training — Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health related crisis. In the Mental Health First Aid course, you learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help.


Before you can know how to help, you need to know when to help. We call this mental health literacy – or a basic understanding of what different mental illnesses and addictions are, how they can affect a person’s daily life, and what helps individuals experiencing these challenges get well.

What Will Participants Learn

The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, participants learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step A.L.G.E.E. action plan:

  • "A"   -Assess for risk of suicide or harm 
When helping a person going through a mental health crisis, it is important to look for signs of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, non-suicidal self-injury, or other harm. Some warning signs of suicide include:
 
  • Threatening to hurt or kill oneself
  • Seeking access to means to hurt or kill oneself
  • Talking or writing about death, dying, or suicide
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Acting recklessly or engaging in risky activities
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawing from family, friends, or society
  • Appearing agitated or angry
  • Having a dramatic change in mood



  • "L"   -Listen nonjudgmentally

It may seem simple, but the ability to listen and have a meaningful conversation requires skill and patience. Listening is critical in helping an individual feel respected, accepted, and understood. Mental Health First Aid teaches you to use a set of verbal and nonverbal skills such as open body posture, comfortable eye contact, and other strategies to engage in appropriate conversation



  • "G"   -Give reassurance and Information
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.


  • "E"   -Encourage appropriate professional help
There are many professionals who can offer help when someone is in crisis or may be experiencing the signs and symptoms of a mental illness or addiction.

Types of Professionals:
  • Doctors (primary care physicians or psychiatrists)
  • Social workers, counselors, and other mental health professionals
  • Certified peer specialists

Types of Professional Help:
  • “Talk” therapies
  • Medication
  • Other professional supports


The Mental Health First Aid course provides a variety of local and national resources to connect individuals in need to care.



  • "E"   -Encourage self-help and other support strategies
Individuals with mental illness can contribute to their own recovery and wellness through:

  • Exercise
  • Relaxation and meditation
  • Participating in peer support groups
  • Self-help books based on cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Engaging with family, friends, faith, and other social networks


Mental Health First Aid helps you to identify potential sources of support and to practice offering these supports to the person you are helping.

 
Who Should Take This Course

The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents (teachers, school staff, coaches, youth group leaders, parents, etc.), but is being tested for appropriateness within older adolescent groups (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. In January 2013, President Obama recommended training for teachers in Mental Health First Aid. Since 2008, the core Mental Health First Aid course has been successfully offered to more than 175,000 people across the USA, including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.


Who Created The Course

Mental Health First Aid was created in 2001 by Betty Kitchener, a nurse specializing in health education and Anthony Jorm, a mental health literacy professor. Kitchener and Jorm run Mental Health First Aid Australia, a national non-profit health promotion charity focused on training and research.  The United States is just one of the many countries that have adapted the program from Australia. Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Mental Health First Aid USA worked with experts at the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development to develop the youth program..


What is the cost

At this time, there is no cost for the 8 hour class. Also, CEU Credits are offered to: Social Workers, Nurses, LADGC, MFT, CPC and POST, as provided through the Office of Suicide Prevention. For more information, please contact us at: (702) 569-9901.
 

To register for an upcoming class, please complete the registration form below, or contact us: (702) 569-9901

 
 
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