Monday, September 16, 2013

Youth Mental Health First Aid
There is no one who can claim to have NOT been affected in some way by a mental health concern.  All of us at one point in our lives will be touched in some way by a mental health “issue”.  I am not talking about a crisis or a diagnosis….it may simply be a serious event that creates in our life or the life of someone we know, a mental health concern. 

So what is a Mental Health Concern? 

They can happen daily, all around us, from the person struggling with grief (which looks different to everyone) or a true mental health disorder.  Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is designed to help everyone be more aware.  In the MHFA class we learn that MHFA is like “regular” first aid for the mind.  Like “regular” first aid, no one is at fault, no is blamed – we just do what we can to manage the situation while waiting for professional help.  This is exactly what Mental Health first aid teaches as it relates to concerns around – our mental health!

Preferred Family Healthcare has several trainers around Missouri who can facilitate an 8 hour certification class in Youth MHFA as well as an hour long “taste of” class.  This class is designed to educate people about what a mental health concern looks like in a youth, and the difference between “normal” adolescence and a concern.  The course includes ways to recognize risk, protective factors and concrete steps to take when a mental health concern is identified.  The beauty of this course is that it does not ask anyone to diagnose and treat; but instead, to take 5 simple steps to apply first aid.

For more information check out our website at, to schedule a class in the St. Louis Region contact me – Jean Sokora or Brigid Woodhead - 

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