Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-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.
Implementation of Youth Mental Health Aid Training began in Duval County Public Schools February 2015. During Year 1 of the AWARE grant (October 2014 – September 2015), 353 First Aiders were trained. During Year 2 of the AWARE grant (October 2015 - September 2016), 623 First Aiders were trained. The goal for years 3-5 of the AWARE grant is train at least 250 First Aiders each year.
To date, 1321 DCPS employees have received Youth Mental Health First Aid Training: