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Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMFHA)

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is a program designed to help youth by educating those who regularly interact with young people to identify and act on signs that the young person is experiencing a mental health challenge, mental disorder, or a mental health crisis. The eight-hour 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, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder. It builds an understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent who is in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide therapy or counseling; rather, participants learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis.

Youth Mental Health First Aid primarily covers the issues facing adolescents. The research and information presented are for the ages of 12-18.

Adults who regularly interact with adolescents are the primary audience for Youth Mental Health First Aid. This includes:

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • School administrators and other school personnel
  • Coaches
  • Camp counselors
  • After-school program staff
  • Scout and other youth leaders
  • Youth mentors
  • Youth volunteers
  • Youth faith leaders
  • Health professionals

 

Mental Health First Aid is an international program proven to be effective. Peer-reviewed studies published in Australia, where the program originated, show that individuals trained in the program:

  • Grow their knowledge of signs, symptoms and risk factors of mental illnesses and addictions
  • Can identify multiple types of professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental illness or addiction
  • Increase their confidence in and likelihood to help an individual in distress
  • Show increased mental wellness themselves

Studies also show that the program reduces the social distance created by negative attitudes and perceptions of individuals with mental illnesses.

 

 

YMHFA and the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work

Kent School has received a grant from SAMHSA to provide YMHFA trainings in the metro Louisville area. This enables us to provide the training FREE OF CHARGE. Typically a YMHFA course costs $119/person.

  • Recognize the signs that a young person may be dealing with a mental health challenge or crisis
  • Reach out to a young person who may be dealing with a mental health challenge
  • Assist a young person who may be dealing with a mental health problem or crisis to seek professional help

This program is provided by the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work, funded by SAMHSA, grant #1H79SM081133-01. Principal Investigator: Dr. Bibhuti Sar Phone: (502) 852-3932

 

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