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Mental Health First Aid for Youth

Mental Health First Aid USA is proud to announce a curriculum focused on helping youth (ages 12-18) who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or in a crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is a 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 most importantly – teaches individuals how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use 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. 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 adapt the Australian youth manual for US audiences.


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 a core five-step action plan to support an adolescent developing signs and symptoms of mental illness or in an emotional crisis:

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



The course is designed for adults whom regularly interact with adolescents. Anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth – educators and school staff, athletic coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals, youth pastors, etc. This includes college level instructors.



For more information about classes or to set up a class at your location, email the MHFA Coordinator, Amy Sanders, at or call 972-388-2000 x1242.


Lakes Regional Community Center is proud to sponsor FREE classes for educators of Independent School Districts and local colleges in our authority area which includes Camp, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris and Titus. TEA has approved Lakes Regional, as well as other local mental health authorities, to become a continuing Education Provider for the State of Texas. Educators will receive CPEs for the total number of class hours, which will be 8 hours for Mental Health First Aid.  LPCs can receive 8 hours of CEs.