Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help adolescents (age 12-18) who are experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or are in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including ADHD), and eating disorders.
In 2014, Battle Ground School District was selected as a recipient of the Project Aware Grant. This grant is one of the ways that Youth Mental Health First Aid classes are provided in our community.
Battle Ground Public Schools is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, families and staff. Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Project AWARE is a partnership between the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Battle Ground Public Schools, Shelton School District and Marysville School District. Each district will work to
Project AWARE Goals:
In February of 2017, Connect BG, our local community coalition was awarded a grant through DSHS Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery. The grant suppor the facilitation of Youth Mental Health First Aid classes as a key element in promoting mental health in our younger generation and building up-stream prevention strategies against teen suicide.
Connect Battle Ground is a coalition of over 135 organizations in six different sectors: (education, business, church, health, art and government) in Battle Ground, Washington. We partnered in January of 2013 in response to adolescent crises such as suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, academic performance, violence and other urgent social concerns in our community. We believe these concerns are symptoms and warnings of cultural issues that have grown worse over several generations. We can restore health through intergeneRELational connections!
The collaborative voice and research led by our facilitating organization (Connect BG, Inc. our non-profit 501 c(3)), has determined these symptoms to be a result of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and systemic isolation. Some experts suggest that youth have been “abandoned” by adult society, even suggesting that this abandonment is the most significant social crisis we face. Robert Block of the American Academy of Pediatrics says ACEs are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation todyay. Listening to the voices and behaviors of our youth has informed us; they feel abandoned by the adults of our society.
As a result of their cultural and relational disconnection from the older population, they miss feeling a sense of unconditional value and the security of experienced guidance into adulthood. Instead, they have unconsciously learned that their value lies in:
Youth Mental Health First Aid is one answer. There are many more. To learn how you can be a part, visit www.connectbg.org.