Center For Leadership In Disability Trains Georgians To Identify Mental Health Crisis

Posted On June 2, 2017
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The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) is now in its third year of coordinating statewide trainings for Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). Now close to the halfway mark of its five-year contract with the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), CLD faculty and staff have worked with close to 1,000 stakeholders to increase awareness of mental illness and promote the use of evidence-based practices across the state.

YMHFA is an 8-hour training that presents a 5-step action plan, role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to identify a mental health crisis, provide initial help and connect young people to professional services, social supports, and self-help care.

“We are pleased to be a part of this vital effort to increase community members’ awareness of mental health issues among school-age youth,” said Andrew Roach, PhD, and CLD Associate Director. YMHFA trains individuals to identify and respond to mental health challenges and how to connect children, youth, and families with the appropriate services. When a young person is in crisis, the presence and support of a caring adult can literally save a life,” added Roach.

YMHFA training is one of a set of CLD programs that address mental health and challenging behavior in children and youth. It’s contract is funded as part of Georgia Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education (AWARE), a $10 million grant awarded to the GaDOE and its partners by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The purpose of Project AWARE is to increase awareness of mental health issues among school-age youth; provide training in Youth Mental Health First Aid; and connect children, youth, and families who may have behavioral health issues with appropriate services. (SAMHSA, Center for Mental Health Services, 2015)

YMHFA group training is provided free of charge to community members and organizations in Georgia. For more information contact Center for Leadership in Disability at 404-413-9334, or you may visit:

The Center for Leadership in Disability is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), administratively located within the Center for Healthy Development and the School of Public Health at Georgia State University (GSU).