By BRETT R. BOGGS
Superintendent, Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation
Connecting Fulton County will be hosting a youth mental health first aid course from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Rochester Learning Center, 1820 Park Road, Rochester.
Similar to a first aid or CPR course, this mental health first aid course helps anyone who wants to learn how to provide initial help to someone who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness or in crisis. The course gives people tools to help friends, family members, colleagues, or others in their community.
This course is a Youth Mental Health First Aid certification course. Those completing the eight hour course will receive a certification and anyone completing the course for the first time will receive a $25 gift card.
As reported by the Indiana Prevention Resource Center in their 2014 findings of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use by Indiana Children and Adolescents, 26.1 percent of the surveyed Indiana tenth graders responded yes to the question “During the past 12 months, did you ever feel so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that you stopped doing some usual activities?”
For more info, see page 35 at http://www.drugs.indiana.edu/publications/survey/indianaSurvey_2014.pdf
Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an eight hour public education program which 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.
The National Council for Behavioral Health certifies individuals throughout the nation, including Connecting Fulton County to provide 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 Mental Health First Aid, visit www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.