DMH Offers Youth Mental Health First Aid For Educators During Summer 2020
April 14, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) – The Mississippi Department of Mental Health is making available free Youth Mental Health First Aid for parents, educators, families during the summer of 2020, offering the training at 11 cities throughout the state.
Youth Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training designed to teach professionals who regularly interact with young people how to help those who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis. Parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens are welcome to register for one of the trainings, but space is limited. Registration information can be found on the DMH web site and on the DMH Facebook page.
“Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches us how to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance use in a young person,” said Courtney Littleton with the DMH Division of Outreach and Training. “What if there was something you could do to help youth in your school or your community? Well, there are things you can do, and this training teaches you what those are.”
The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a five-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.
It will also introduce participants to mental health services that are available in their local area.
DMH is able to offer the training to school district employees, school resource officers, parents and caregivers due to a federal grant from the Substance Abuse Services and Mental Health Administration. The Mental Health Awareness Training grant is a three-year grant SAMHSA awarded to DMH that allows the agency to provide this training at no cost to these groups.
The training is scheduled for the following cities and dates: Brandon, July 9; Booneville, July 20; Clarksdale, July 17; Greenville, July 7 and July 8; Greenwood, June 29 and June 30; McComb, July 22; Meridian, July 16; Oxford, June 8 and July 14; Tupelo, July 10 and July 24; Vicksburg, June 9 and July 7; and West Point, June 23.
The training is offered in partnership with Community Mental Health Centers around the state, and has been approved for continuing education units for educators and school resource officers. While the training is provided free of charge, participants’ lunch will be on their own.
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Help is Available
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990, and you may text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. The Crisis Text Line can connect someone with a crisis counselor by texting HOME to 741741. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also available at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
The DMH Helpline will remain staffed at all times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 1-877-210-8513 for information about services or supports near you. Additional resources for Mississippians are located www.mentalhealthms.com. and www.standupms.org.
DMH is supporting a better tomorrow by making a difference in the lives of Mississippians with mental illness, substance use disorders and intellectual or developmental disabilities one person at a time