Health Dept. of Northwest Michigan to hold youth mental health first aid training in Charlevoix

Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches about warning signs of mental health problems and how to support adolescents in crisis or experiencing mental health challenges.

The Health Department will host the next training on Tuesday, October 17 at Char-Em Intermediate School District in Charlevoix.

The training is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Youth Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis, provide initial help, and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.

Tiffany Moore-Corteville, a mental health professional and community health coordinator for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, says this training is critical for any adult who regularly interacts with adolescents.

“It is so important for the adults in a student’s life to be able to recognize when that student is struggling, and know the right way to respond. Teachers, coaches, parents, and youth group leaders would greatly benefit from this training. I highly recommend it,” she said.

According to Moore-Corteville, early intervention is vital when an adolescent begins to display symptoms of a mental health challenge.

“With the right support at the right time, adolescents can overcome these challenges. Without it, untreated mental health problems can become devastating. This course really is as important as learning CPR or First Aid for injuries,” she explained.

The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, attention deficit disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorders.

Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, participants learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by series of defined steps. More Mental Health First Aid trainings will be offered on future dates – see www.charemisd.org for details.

Since 2008, the core Mental Health First Aid course has been successfully offered to hundreds of thousands of people across the USA, including hospital staff, employers and business leaders, faith communities, law enforcement, and the general public.

Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

Mental Health First Aid USA worked with experts at the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development to develop the youth program.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan is mandated by the Michigan Public Health Code to promote wellness, prevent disease, provide quality healthcare, address health problems of vulnerable populations, and protect the environment for the residents and visitors of Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet, and Otsego counties.

For more information on the Youth Mental Health First Aid training, please contact Tiffany Moore-Corteville at 231-347-5891 or visit nwhealth.org.

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