Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is a formal, nationally recognized training program that introduces adults to the distinct 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 youth who are in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. 

This training provides participants with the critical and life-saving skills to recognize when a student is experiencing a mental health or addictions crisis and to know what actions to take to get the student connected to the resources they need. 

Responding to Mental Health Challenges in the District 

In 2018, Lake Washington Schools Foundation partnered with LWSD to begin offering Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training to the community, in response to an increase in the number of students experiencing mental health challenges and emergencies throughout our district, as well as a tragic incident involving the suicide of a local student.  

Empowering our Teachers and Staff with Critical Knowledge and Skills 

Beginning in December 2020, the Foundation expanded on the partnership with the district to begin offering the virtual version of the training directly to teachers and staff. This training became so popular and successful that it was offered twice monthly, resulting in 175 LWSD teachers and staff being fully trained by June 2021. 

I feel better equipped to help my students that are struggling with mental health issues.

I learned that there are many different types of mental illness and learned more about the signs and symptoms of suicide. I learned about different tools I can use, if needed.

I am very grateful and wish I had this training years ago.


– Feedback from LWSD teachers and staff after completing their training 

Looking Forward

As mental health concerns with students in our district continue to rise, YMHFA training is more important than ever. Since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, LWSF has already offered two YMHFA courses to teachers and staff. The Foundation plans to continue providing training all year long – with a goal of training another 200-300 teachers and staff by June 2022. 

Register for this Free Training

If you are an LWSD staff member interested in participating in Youth Mental Health First Aid training, please contact Morgan Lipe at [email protected] to register! 

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