Hamilton Center Introduces Youth Mental Health First Aid to Owen County

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Hamilton Center is initiating the Youth Mental Health First Aid Program at Owen County Family YMCA, 1111 W. Hwy 46, Spencer, IN, Tuesday, November 8 from 8 am to 5 pm.  Certified instructors will train members of the public involved with youth to improve mental health literacy – helping them identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness. Seats are available for up to 30 registrants including community youth workers, agency youth workers, faith-based youth workers, parents, anyone who works with the youth population.

“Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for young people in the United States. Indiana ranks #10. Our youth population is counting on us to bring light to these issues. Community members are invited to attend trainings to increase the ability to begin addressing issues/providing knowledge or resources for youth in crisis,” said Janet Rose, Program Coordinator of Youth Mental Health First Aid, Hamilton Center, Inc.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training certification course which teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions, and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds an understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments. Evaluations in randomized controlled trials and a quantitative study have proved the CPR-like program effective in improving trainees’ knowledge of mental health disorders, reducing stigma, and increasing the amount of help provided to the youth population.

Those completing the training will be certified as Youth Mental Health First Aiders for three years. Re-certification can be obtained by attending another workshop.

Mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, psychosis and substance use are common in the United States; estimating prevalence is 22% annually for ages 13-18. In fact, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for young people in the United States. The National Council for Behavioral Health certifies individuals throughout the nation to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid courses to prepare their communities with the knowledge and skills to help individuals who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Identified on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, the training helps the public better identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses.

For more information on Youth Mental Health First Aid, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

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