Youth Mental Health First Aid Teaches How to Identify Warning Signs of Mental Illness in Children

As shared in a recent press release…CarePlus is offering a one-day class in Youth Mental Health First Aid on Monday, July 15 at their Paramus headquarters. The class, taught by the only two Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainers in the state of New Jersey, is the only one of its kind being held in the northern New Jersey area.

is new public education program focused on addressing the unique challenges and characteristics of those between the ages of 12 and 18, and who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or are in a crisis. Similar to the original Mental Health First Aid training class that focuses on adults, this new curriculum teaches individuals who interact or work with youth how to identify when they are experiencing a mental health or substance abuse challenge and how to help. Role-playing and simulations are used to demonstrate to attendees how to assess and respond to a crisis.

The class is especially suited for parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, mentors, juvenile justice professionals, hospital staff members, nurses, medical or mental health professionals, faith leaders, and community leaders. Anyone who interacts with children in the age group is encouraged to attend.

The full-day training will be held at the CarePlus headquarters, located at 610 Valley Health Plaza in Paramus, NJ from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. Attendees will receive morning refreshments and have a 30-minute break for lunch. The cost per registrant is $150 and the class is limited to 25 students to ensure a hands-on experience.

While the class is not designed to teach attendees to diagnose or treat, they will learn the industry-standard 5-step action plan to support youth when they are displaying warning signs or symptoms of a mental health crisis.

The class will be lead by Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid trainers Sue Heguy, LCSW and Jamisin Saracino, MA. They are currently the only certified trainers of this curriculum in the state of New Jersey.

Mental Health First Aid – also referred to as MHFA – is a public education program that helps the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders. The curriculum is managed, operated, and disseminated by three national authorities — the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. Those same three are recognized for working with the founders of the original Mental Health First Aid program in Australia and bringing it to the U.S.