Youth Mental Health First Aid is a 6 to 8 hour course that gives teachers, school staff, parents, family members, caregivers, 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 a 5-step 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.
When you take a course, you learn how to apply the Mental Health First Aid action plan in a variety of situations, including when someone is experiencing:
- Panic attacks
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
- Nonsuicidal self-injury
- Acute psychosis (e.g., hallucinations or delusions)
- Overdose or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use
- Reaction to a traumatic event
The opportunity to practice — through role plays, scenarios, and activities — makes it easier to apply these skills in a real-life situation.
Adapted from MentalHealthFirstAid.org