DCPS to of­fer Youth Men­tal Health First Aid train­ing in 2017

Dorchester Star - - REGIONAL - Fol­low me on Twit­ter @vic­to­ri­adorstar and on In­sta­gram @dorch­ester.star.

CAM­BRIDGE — Be­gin­ning in the new year, Dorch­ester County Pub­lic Schools will have Youth Men­tal Health First Aid train­ing ses­sions as part of the Project AWARE grant.

This train­ing is an 8-hour, pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram de­signed for adults who reg­u­larly in­ter­act with ado­les­cents (teach­ers, school staff, coaches, youth group lead­ers, par­ents, etc.).

As noted on the Youth Men­tal Health First Aid web­site, the train­ing “in­tro­duces par­tic­i­pants to the unique risk fac­tors and warn­ing signs of men­tal health prob­lems in ado­les­cents, builds un­der­stand­ing of the im­por­tance of early in­ter­ven­tion, and teaches in­di­vid­u­als how to help an ado­les­cent in cri­sis or ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a men­tal health chal­lenge.”

Par­tic­i­pants do not learn to di­ag­nose, nor pro­vide any therapy or coun­sel­ing. Par­tic­i­pants will, how­ever, learn to pro­vide sup­port to a youth who may be de­vel­op­ing signs and symp­toms of a men­tal ill­ness or in an emo­tional cri­sis by ap­ply­ing a core five-step ac­tion plan: as­sess for risk of sui­cide or harm, lis­ten non-judg­men­tally, give re­as­sur­ance and in­for­ma­tion, en­cour­age ap­pro­pri­ate pro­fes­sional help, and en­cour­age self-help and other sup­port strate­gies.

As part of the Project AWARE grant, the train­ing is open to com­mu­nity mem­bers and is free of charge. Train­ing dates have been re­served for: Tues­days, Jan. 24, Feb. 14, March 14, April 25, May 16, and Wed­nes­day, June 7.

The train­ings will be of­fered in the Multi-Pur­pose room at Dorch­ester Ca­reer and Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter, be­gin­ning at 8 a.m. To ex­pe­dite the train­ing, you are en­cour­aged to bring your lunch and any snacks.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion or to re­serve a spot, con­tact Dr. Wayne Hick­man in the De­part­ment of Stu­dent Ser­vices via e-mail: hick­manw@dcpsmd.org or phone: 410-901-6940 Ext. 3607.

A min­i­mum of 15 par­tic­i­pants per train­ing in de­sired, so those who wish to par­tic­i­pate are en­cour­aged to in­vite oth­ers to join. Ad­di­tional train­ings can be ar­ranged if none of the planned dates are suit­able.

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