Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an six-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. There are multiple ways to learn this curriculum, including a virtual training, a blended virtual and in-person training, or a fully in person training. All options include a manual that participants get to keep as a lifelong resource.

Youth 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.

About Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid training was designed by Mental Health First Aid USA, www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org, which 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. 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.

Making this information readily available is a priority for the CLD, therefore we work with interested parties to make this training affordable. If interested in pricing options, please e-mail Taelor Moran.

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 action plan:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

The Youth Mental Health First Aid curriculum is primarily focused on information participants can use to help adolescents and transition-age youth, ages 12-18.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who Should Take the Course?
    • The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents ages 12-18, including teachers, school staff, coaches, childcare staff, church leaders, youth group leaders, law enforcement, volunteers and parents.
  • Who Created the Course?
    • 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.
  • Where Can I Sign Up for a Course?
    • To find and register for a course in Georgia hosted through the CLD, please e-mail Taelor Moran
  • Can I Host a Course?
    • To learn more about hosting a Youth Mental Health First Aid training session, call 404-413-9334 or e-mail Taelor Moran.

Meet the YMHFA Team!

Kathy Harlan Brenda Liz Muñoz Taelor Moran Susanna Miller-Raines