Saturday, March 16, the University of Missouri-Columbia Extension and the Children’s Grove will host the Youth Mental Health First Aid certificate course. The session will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of Missouri Extension Office. There is a $25 registration cost, but the class is free to Columbia Public School students 17 years and older, according to the RBHS website.
“I think it is useful to take advantage of these opportunities because mental health affects everyone,” junior Lucy Boizian said. “I think that it is important to go to things like this because I think mental health can be an issue for anybody, anywhere. It is important that we have training because if an issue does arise, we can address it and address it properly.”
Sarah Traub, Human Development & Family Science Specialist with University of Missouri Extension will be a teacher at the course. Alejandra Gudino, Inclusive Education Coordinator with University of Missouri’s Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Office, is the second teacher.
The youth mental health first aid teaches a five step action plan to offer help to young individuals showing signs of a mental illness or crisis, according to the course’s flyer. The course then aims to help individuals find the proper help with connections.
“It is important for students and teachers to know about mental health because there are a lot of children who suffer with various mental health issues around the school,” junior Jadyn Lisenby said. “It can eventually lead to something that is a bigger deal than it seems.”
Traub said the Mental Health First Aid Action Plan consists of assessing for risk of suicide or harm, listening non-judgmentally, giving reassurance and information, encouraging appropriate professional help and encourage self-help and other support strategies.
The registration and consent form states the training is not therapy or counseling, but instead will “include discussion of emotionally sensitive topics including risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents.” The form cites anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders and substance uses at being common obstacles to face.
“Just as [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] helps you assist an individual having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis,” Traub said. “In the Mental Health First Aid course, you 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.”
Will you be going to the Youth Mental Health First Aid certificate course? Let us know in the comments below!