More than 850 county residents have become certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid.
The popular course that teaches participants how to support youth struggling with a mental health or substance abuse problem is now available online. Parents, teachers, and others in Santa Barbara County who work with youth ages 12-18 are encouraged to “be the difference” for local youth by participating in a free, upcoming training..
Just as CPR teaches community members to help when a person is having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training gives people the tools to identify when a young person might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem. Mental Health First Aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.
“Youth are being impacted by school closures and social distancing guidelines, and they may not be forthcoming about any difficulties they are experiencing,” said Lisa Brabo, executive director for Family Service Agency. “Through this program, we hope to equip adults with the tools to start conversations about any mental health and substance use problems experienced by our local youth.”
Nov. 10 is the last chance to take a class this year. Twenty additional classes are being scheduled in 2021. To register, visit bethedifferencesb.org or call 805-884-8440.
— Gerry Fall