School may be out soon, but mental health is in!

Parents, teachers, and Santa Barbara County professionals who work with youth ages 12-18 are encouraged to participate in a free, upcoming Youth Mental Health First Aid training. The popular course teaches participants how to support youth struggling with a mental health or substance abuse problem. Free online trainings are being offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 4th, May 20th, June 3rd, June 15th, July 8th, July 20th, August 10th and August 19th.

Just as CPR teaches community members to help when a person is having a heart attack, Youth Mental Health First Aid training gives people the tools to identify when a young person might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem. Mental health first-aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support. They also learn the impact of traumatic experiences on adolescent development. Participants receive a three-year certification from the National Council for Behavioral Health.

“It’s been a traumatic year. Youth have been impacted by school closures and social distancing guidelines, and they may not be forthcoming about any difficulties they are experiencing,” says Annmarie Cameron, Chief Executive Officer for the Mental Wellness Center. “Adults can make a huge difference by getting trained on how to respond to mental health concerns in a young person. Our goal is to train 500 additional community members this year.”

The classes are provided by Family Service Agency, Mental Wellness Center, and the Youthwell Coalition. For additional information, visit BetheDifferenceSB.org or call (805) 884-8440.
About Mental Health First Aid
The National Council for Behavioral Health was instrumental in bringing Mental Health First Aid to the USA and more than 1 million individuals have been trained. To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit mentalhealthfirstaid.org.