DCPS to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid training in 2017
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: firstname.lastname@example.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.