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New Program Offers Assistance to Youth with Mental Health Challenges – Mental Health First Aid-Youth

As many as 70,000 Kansas children under age 18 have emotional/behavioral problems, and many are reluctant to seek help or might not know where to turn for care. The symptoms of mental illness can be difficult to detect – even when friends and family of someone who appears to be developing a mental illness can tell that something is amiss, they may not know how to intervene or direct the person to proper treatment – which means that all too often, those in need of mental health services do not get them until it is too late. As a society, we largely remain ignorant about the signs and symptoms of mental illnesses, and we ignore our role as responsible community members to help adolescents experiencing these challenges.

Mental Health First Aid-Youth training is a public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and most importantly – teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social and self-help care.

Horizons Mental Health Center, and the Barber, Harper, Kingman and Pratt County Suicide Prevention Coalition, recognizes the growing need for parents, guardians, educators, medical professionals, youth ministers, and coaches to understand the effects mental illness has on our youth and to encourage youth to get connected to appropriate professional help.

Together, they are offering the Pratt community a Mental Health First Aid-Youth training on Friday, March 28th from 8:00AM – 5:00PM at the Pratt Regional Medical Center – Stanion Conference Rooms.

The Mental Health First Aid-Youth training program is an 8-hour certification training for individuals who work with or live with an adolescent ages 11-18. Eight CEs and CNE’s are available upon completion.

Register for the training today by contacting Teryn Irvin with Horizons at or 620-931-2354.

Unable to attend the Pratt County training? No problem, sign up for a training in one of the surrounding communities:

  • Tuesday, April 15th from 8:30AM – 5:30PM at Bank SNB in Anthony, Kansas
  • Saturday, May 3rd from 8:00AM – 5:00PM at the Kingman County Activity Center in Kingman, Kansas
  • Thursday, June 19th from 8:30AM – 5:30PM at The People’s Bank in Medicine Lodge, Kansas
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