Mental Health First Aid
KCSOS joins national initiative to increase mental health literacy through new Youth Mental Health First Aid program
In just ten years, Mental Health First Aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States—half a million Mental Health First Aiders strong and growing every day. In 2016, the National Council for Behavioral Health is making it a priority to train more first aiders than ever before. It’s vision? One million Mental Health First Aiders in the U.S.
KCSOS, in conjunction with various community partners, is helping spread the movement right here at home.
“We are thrilled to be involved in helping the National Council for Behavioral Health spread Youth Mental Health First Aid within our community,” said Tatia Hunter-Jennings, School Counselor, Prevention Services for KCSOS and coordinator of the program. “This important educational effort goes a lot further than emergency intervention; it really helps people understand the shroud of fear and misjudgment facing individuals and families who experience mental illnesses and addiction. It will help rid this community of the associated stigma and move more and more people toward recovery.”
Youth Mental Health First Aid is a no-cost, 8-hour training certification course that is taught by Hunter-Jennings and her colleagues at partner agencies — Kern County Mental Health, CSU Bakersfield, and Kern County Probation —through grant funding.
The program teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments.
The goal of the program is to improve mental health literacy for members of the community who work directly with adolescents ages 12-18 to help identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness.
The course is designed to help anyone who wants to learn how to provide initial help to someone who may be experiencing symptoms of mental illness or in crisis — educators, coaches, public safety personnel, members of faith-based organizations, social worker and other caring citizens, Hunter-Jennings said.
For more information or to schedule a no-cost Youth Mental Health First Aid training in Kern County, contact Tatia Hunter-Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org or 661-852-5663.
The next training is scheduled for Feb 25, 2016. To register, click HERE.