Youth Mental Health First Aid

Superintendent completes Youth Mental Health First Aid certification
Youth Mental Health First Aid

On January 17th Superintendent Watkins completed the National Youth Mental Health First Aid Training in Juneau. Mental Health First Aid teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.


During this eight-hour course Superintendent Watkins learned the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including

  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • psychosis,
  • eating disorders,
  • AD/HD,
  • disruptive behavior disorders
  • substance use disorder.

The course did not teach how to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, participants learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step action plan:

® Assess for risk of suicide or harm

® Listen nonjudgmentally

® Give reassurance and information

 ® Encourage appropriate professional help

® Encourage self-help and other support strategies


Plans are being made to bring this training to Hoonah City School staff, law enforcement, and other essential personnel.


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