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CHCS offers Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid

One in five teens and young adults live with a mental health condition, and more than 64% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment. Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect. Friends and family members often don’t know when or how to help. As a result, youth in need of mental health services often do not get them until it is too late.

Community HealthCare System, or CHCS, is offering Youth Mental Health First Aid to give adults who work with youth the skills they need to provide initial support to children and adolescents who may be developing mental health or substance use problems. An inaugural class will be available Thursday, May 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The course will be conducted virtually via Zoom, and participants are required to complete two hours of online education before the class begins.

CHCS instructors are Angie Sauvage, Licensed Master Social Worker, and Kelsey Edwards, Rehabilitation and Fitness Center Coordinator. Both recently became certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid; Sauvage was already certified in Mental Health First Aid for adults. Both Sauvage and Edwards have seen the need for more education and resources to help parents, teachers, coaches, and others feel prepared to help young people find appropriate care.

“All too often, we don’t know how to interact with someone who’s in crisis, or we may not see the signs that someone needs help. Youth Mental Health First Aid gives participants the knowledge and tools they need to be the difference for a young person in need,” Sauvage said.

The course covers a range of topics that all parents and people who work with youth ages 6 through 18 will find useful, including common signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance use as well as content about trauma, self-care, and the impact of social media and bullying.

“Youth face many challenges, and the course helps participants understand and prepare to assess risks, listen without judgement, and take vital steps to offer support and seek professional help,” Edwards said.

The course costs $40 per person. Advance registration is required by May 13. To register, contact Kelsey Edwards at 785-889-5048 or [email protected]. View/download a flyer to share.

CHCS is happy to work with groups or schools seeking courses to certify staff members, volunteers, or teachers. Please direct inquiries to Kelsey Edwards. 

Learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA.  


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