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A Closer Look At Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth. This 6-hour training gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to children and adolescents (ages 6-18) who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem and help connect them to the appropriate care.

who should take it

School Staff


Camp Counselors
Youth Group Leaders


People Who Work With Youth
VIRTUAL learning

First Aiders will complete a 2-hour, self-paced online course, and then participate in a 4.5 to 5.5-hour, Instructor-led video conference.

of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment.

– Mental Health America


of youth report having a substance use or alcohol problem.

– Mental Health America


teens and young adults lives with a mental health condition.

– National Alliance for Mental Illness

1 in 5
As adults, sometimes forget how hard it was being an adolescent. When we see a kid who is just miserable at school, we might think they choose to be that way — or that it’s just part of adolescence. But in fact, they might be in a mental health crisis, one they certainly did not choose and do not want. When a teacher says, ‘How can I be helpful?’ that is a powerful question.”
— Alyssa Fruchtenicht, school-based mental health counselor
what it covers
Common signs and symptoms of mental illness in this age group, including



Eating disorders

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD)

Common signs and symptoms of substance abuse

How to interact with a child or adolescent in crisis

How to connect the person with help

New:Expanded content on trauma, addiction and self-care and the impact of social media and bullying

The course will teach you how to apply the ALGEE action plan:
Assess for risk of suicide or harm.

Listen nonjudgmentally.

Give reassurance and information.

Encourage appropriate professional help.

Encourage self-help and other support strategies.
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