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Free Mental Health First Aid Training Available

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
January 6, 2016

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

FREE YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH FIRST AID TRAINING AVAILABLE

I am writing today to encourage you to take advantage of an opportunity to provide mental health training to your school staff at no cost to your county office of education, district, or charter school.

Many students suffer in silence before dropping out of school or falling victim to addiction, homelessness, suicide, or other tragic outcomes due to unrecognized mental health challenges. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Training can help school staff and community members provide early help by linking students to appropriate resources. YMHFA is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age twelve to eighteen) who is experiencing a mental health or addiction challenge or is in crisis.

With more student mental health training for school staff and community members, we can do a better job of linking all students to the help they need as well as provide early help to those who may be prone to chronic mental illness. The training introduces common mental health challenges of youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and discusses strategies to help young people in crisis and non-crisis situations.

YMHFA Training is based on the concept of medical first aid for educators and other adults working with students to help them identify mental health issues earlier, allowing students more opportunity to overcome barriers to their education. Participants learn a five-step action plan to offer initial help to young people showing signs of a mental illness or in a crisis and to connect them with the appropriate professional, peer, social, or self-help care. The training also introduces common mental health challenges of youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and reviews strategies to help young people in crisis and non-crisis situations.

YMHFA trainings are available to county offices of education, school districts, and charter schools through funding administered by the California Department of Education and provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration through June 2019.

If you have any questions about YMHFA or would like to host a training provided to your staff, please contact Monica Nepomuceno, Education Programs Consultant, by phone at 916-323-2212 or by e-mail at mnepomuceno@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:mn

2015-08622

Last Reviewed: Friday, March 27, 2020

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