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.
We are grateful to Overlake Medical Center & Clinics and Boeing for providing significant support for this program.
LWSD Teachers and Staff Can Register for Free Training
If you are an LWSD staff member interested in participating in Youth Mental Health First Aid training, you can learn about upcoming training dates and register through the PLMS Cornerstone app. Click on “Learner Home”. In the search bar, search and click on “Youth Mental Health First Aid”. Follow the directions to register.
Learners will complete a 2-hour, self-paced class online, and then participate in two 2.5 hour, live in-person or virtual sessions. Access to the internet is required.
Training for Teens
More recently, LWSF began partnering with the district to offer another version of this training, called Teen Mental Health First Aid. The curriculum is created by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in partnership with the Born This Way Foundation, which helps teens learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of friends who may struggle with mental health and substance challenges.
“The curriculum is designed around the understanding that adults are frequently not the first person teens turn to when they or a friend needs help,” said Chase Covington, school counselor at Nikola Tesla STEM High School. “Knowing that, this curriculum is intended to teach and equip our students with an appropriate level of knowledge and skills to understand a mental health challenge or crisis when they see it and how to respond appropriately.”
Different topics cover mental health challenges: what is appropriate help, how to help a friend in a current or developing mental health crisis, how to help a friend in a substance use crisis. All of these topics are covered while also teaching them resilience and recovery.
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, this training has been offered twice monthly, resulting in 257 LWSD teachers and staff being fully trained by June 2022.
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