July 13, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 163

Agency to offer youth mental health first aid training

WAKEFIELD — Gogebic Community Mental Health is hosting a training on Monday focusing on helping youth aged 12-18 facing mental health challenges or crises.

Youth Mental Health First Aid introduces participants to the warning signs of mental health problems and risk factors for adolescents. It also builds understanding on the importance of early intervention and teaches people how to help a youth who is in crisis or facing a mental health or substance abuse challenges, according to a news release.

The program uses role playing and simulations to show how to assess a mental health crisis, provide help, choose an intervention, and connect youth to professional, peer, social and self care.

Participants will learn risk factors and warning signs of common mental health challenges among adolescents such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder, disruptive behavior disorders and substance use disorders.

A five step action plan to support adolescents will be taught: assessing for risk of suicide, nonjudgemental listening, giving reassurance and information, encouraging professional help, and self-help and other support strategies.

The curriculum is designed for adults, but adolescents aged 16 and older may find it useful. Anyone who works with youth, such as teachers, coaches, mentors, or juvenile justice professionals are encouraged to attend this training.

Mental Health First Aid is not specifically designed for parents. Families and parents of youth with mental health challenges may find it useful, but it does not provide information on navigating the healthcare system.

The training is free. It starts at 8 a.m. at the CMH building in Wakefield, and lasts until 4:30 p.m., with lunch provided.

For more information, or to register, call Missy Lane at CMH at 906-229-6105.