Yates County Community Services is offering a free, 8-hour training program to provide mental health first aid to young people.

Youth Mental Health First Aid USA 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 teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.

The course will be held at the Dundee Elementary School Discovery Room May 9 and 16 from 8:30 a.m..to 1 p.m. Attendance at both sessions is required.

The program is free and the reference book and other materials will be provided.

To reserve your spot in the training, please contact: George A. Roets, Yates County Director of Community Services, 607-481-0538 or email Groetsl@rochester. rr.com

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. The curriculum is primarily focused on adolescents and transition-age youth, ages 12 to 25, and designed for adults who regularly interact with them (teachers, school staff, coaches, youth group leaders, parents, etc.). The core Mental Health First Aid course has been offered to 80,000+ people across the USA, including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.

Participants will learn 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 to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step action plan:

• Assess for risk of suicide or harm

• Listen nonjudgmentally

• Give reassurance and information

• Encourage appropriate professional help

• Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Missouri Department of Mental Health. It was created with assistance from The National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development.