News Local/State

‘Youth Mental Health First Aid’ Teaches How To Help In A Crisis Situation


Mental Health First Aid

A free training event offered this week by the Champaign County Mental Health Board teaches the risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in children and teens.

“Youth Mental Health First Aid” is a national, evidence-based program teaches people what they should do to help out in a mental health crisis situation.

Lynn Canfield, executive director for the Champaign County Mental Health Board, recommends the training for anyone who works with children and said it can be especially helpful as we approach the holidays:

“Even youth who do not have a diagnosed mental illness may find themselves needing more support,” Canfield said. “Maybe it’s due to the holidays, maybe it’s due to the pressures of their lives.”

Canfield said many young people in Champaign County may be particularly vulnerable due to trauma caused by community violence.

“We are concerned for the young people in this community who are exposed to violence or who experienced the loss of a friend to violence or suicide,” Canfield said, pointing out that there’s been an increase in youth suicide in Champaign county and elsewhere.

Participants will also learn about what resources are available for treatment and support in the Champaign County area -- such as crisis services offered by Rosecrance and the Pavilion.

The 8-hour training session is split over two training days, beginning this Thursday. The last day to register is Tuesday, December 11.

Find more information at the event website.

The 24-hour crisis line in Champaign county is 217-359-4143.

Follow Christine on Twitter: @CTHerman