Youth Mental Health First Aid Training Funded by AFSP

The Northern New Jersey Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) – in cooperation with Care Plus NJ, Inc. (CarePlus) – is providing the funding for the nationally-recognized Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training course on April 30th at the CarePlus Fair Lawn facility.

This training is not only important for mental health professionals, it is also critical for gatekeepers in the community including all adults who interact with children: parents, school staff, coaches, neighbors and others. The objective of YMHFA is to provide knowledge, resources and an action plan so that individuals in the community can be confident in addressing mental health problems in youth.

This special training is an opportunity to become certified in YMHFA free of charge, as well as to learn how to get involved with the AFSP and their mission to prevent tragedies within the local community. The certification course will establish an understanding on how to link a youth to the necessary resources before a situation escalates into a crisis. Many times people want to help, but they do not know what to do; this program will provide that insight.

“The AFSP recognizes the importance of community education,” said Lorraine Mackin, NJ Area Director of the AFSP. “This training goes hand-in-hand with our mission of understanding and preventing suicide through research, education, and advocacy.”

Recently, the AFSP partnered with the National Council for Behavioral Health and pledged to provide Mental Health First Aid and Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings in towns and cities across the country. The Northern NJ chapter of the AFSP is funding this opportunity for members of the surrounding community.

The award winning 8-hour Youth Mental Health First Aid course will be facilitated by certified trainers from CarePlus and hosted at the organization’s Fair Lawn location at 17-07 Romaine Street. Additionally, through collaborative efforts, the training will also provide mental health professionals in attendance with 7.5 Continuing Educations Units (CEU’s) at no additional cost.

“The key factor here is prevention,” Mackin explained, “we need more people to be aware of signs and symptoms of a potential mental health problem so that they can lead a young person to help before it is too late.”

This training is open and has been designed for all community members interested in learning more. Space is limited, so those who wish to participate must register to reserve a seat.

Care Plus NJ, Inc. ( ) is a northern New Jersey provider of recovery-focused mental health, primary care, substance abuse, and family services that addresses the unique needs of individuals with a holistic approach to recovery and overall wellness. Operating out of 23 sites – including three outpatient centers located in Paramus, Fair Lawn, and Montclair, ten residential facilities, offices at three local hospitals, and seven community offices – their services are convenient to clients located throughout Northern New Jersey. They also provide educational programs on mental health-related topics to schools, organizations, and community groups; training topics including certified Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Prevention, Bullying Prevention and Crisis Planning and Intervention Strategies for Schools.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention leads the fight against suicide. We fund research, create educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide. Led by CEO Robert Gebbia and headquartered in New York, AFSP has 75 local chapters with programs and events nationwide. Review our Annual Report to learn more about AFSP’s life-saving work, and join the national conversation on suicide prevention by following AFSP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.