Because mental illness most often begins in childhood and adolescence, youth workers are among our most critical compassionate caregivers, right at the front lines of mental health care. Consider this:
• One in every five adolescents has had a serious mental health disorder at some point in their life.
• Half of all mental health concerns begin by age 14.
• More than 90 percent of children who die by suicide have a mental health condition.
I’ve said it many times, and I’ll keep saying it. Every church ought to have at least one person trained in Mental Health First Aid. And if you’re going to pick just one person, why not someone who works with youth?
I want to alert you to a special opportunity available now through September 2018. People who are working with youth may benefit from a grant program to become certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA).
Just as CPR helps you assist an individual who’s having a heart attack, YMHFA helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In this course, you will learn risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help. Learn more about Youth Mental Health First Aid and programs here.
The cities and states listed below are Project AWARE grantees who have funds available to provide this training. If you’re in one of these areas, download this document to find out what local agency you can contact for details:
Project-Aware-SEA-and-C-Grantees.pdf (50 downloads)
Alaska, Arizona (Phoenix), California, Colorado, Connecticut (Hartford, Plainville, Litchfield, Waterbury), Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana (Terre Haute, Evansville), Iowa, Kentucky, Maine (Brunswick, Augusta ), Maryland, Massachusetts (Northampton, Framingham, Shrewsbury, Worcester), Michigan, Missouri (St Louis, Springfield), Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico (Farmington, Santa Fe), New York (Buffalo, Albany, Menands, Rochester, Suffern), North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Ohio, Oklahoma (Ada), Oregon (Albany), South Carolina (Columbia, Newberry, Abbeville), South Dakota (Pierre) Tennessee, Texas (Austin, New Braunfels), Utah (Logan), Vermont (Montpelier), Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Janesville, Menomonie), Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
If you don’t see your community listed above, you can still visit Mental Health First Aid to connect with a training course being held in a community near you. These trainings would not be covered through these grant funds, but they might be subsidized by other programs. And if not, the program is worth every penny.
You can also encourage your state leadership to apply for this grant to make more mental health funding available in your state. For more information, see this link.
© 2018 Amy Simpson.