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Youth Behavioral Health Training Programs

These programs have been identified to meet the legislative requirements of Education Code 49428.15.

Education Code 49428.5 mandates that the California Department of Education identifies one or more evidence-based or evidence-informed youth behavioral health training programs that meets all of the following requirements for use by local educational agencies to train school staff or pupils:

  1. Provides instruction on recognizing the signs and symptoms of youth behavioral health disorders, including common psychiatric conditions and substance use disorders such as opioid and alcohol abuse.
  2. Provides instruction on how school staff can best provide referrals to youth behavioral health services or other support to individuals in the early stages of developing a youth behavioral health disorder.
  3. Provides instruction on how to maintain pupil privacy and confidentiality in a manner consistent with federal and state privacy laws.
  4. Provides instruction on the safe deescalation of crisis situations involving individuals with a youth behavioral health disorder.
  5. Is capable of assessing trainee knowledge before and after training is provided in order to measure training outcomes.
  6. Is administered by a nationally recognized training authority in youth behavioral health disorders or by a local educational agency.
  7. Includes in-person and virtual training with certified instructors who can recommend resources available in the community for individuals with a youth behavioral health disorder. For purposes of this paragraph, “certified instructors” means individuals who obtain or have obtained a certification to provide the selected youth behavioral health training.

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is a research-based curriculum created upon the medical first aid model. It is designed to provide parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, neighbors, and other caring adults with skills to help a school-age child or youth who may be experiencing emotional distress, the onset of a mental illness, addiction challenge or who may be in crisis. YMHFA participants learn to recognize signs and symptoms of children and youth in emotional distress, initiate and offer help, and connect the youth to professional care through a five-step action plan.

Unless it is used as a refresher, YMHFA training is not intended for staff with a mental health background such as school psychologists, social workers, clinicians, etc., due to its basic nature. The ideal audience includes teachers, administrators, nurses, counselors, and any other credentialed staff, classified staff (school secretaries, registrars, yard supervisors, campus monitors, bus drivers, lunch staff, janitors, aides, after school staff, etc.), parents, youth employers, and other community partners that have contact with students.

YMHFA content now includes critical components such as cultural considerations, impact of culture on trauma, school violence and bullying, social media impacts, and self-care. Additionally, the training has been restructured to include information relevant to young children in the elementary school grades.

2022-23 YMHFA Informational Flyer(PDF)

To host YMHFA training for your staff, submit your request to

Questions: School Health and Safety Office | | 916-319-0914 
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 16, 2024
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