Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid is a national project designed to help adults working with youth to understand the prevalence of various mental health issues and the need to reduce the stigma in communities. Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people.

What  Youth Mental Health First Aid Does

Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches members of the public how to respond in a mental health emergency with youth and young adults and to offer support to a young person who appears to be in emotional distress. By using YMHFA, individuals coming into contact with youth and young adults can acquire the basic knowledge and skills to respond to a young person in distress. The information provided in the training is designed to help the first aider assist a person showing symptoms of mental illness or experiencing a mental crisis until professional or other help can be engaged. The Partnership supports a team of two certified YMHFA trainers who are available to share this training with any of our community sectors.

Why It Matters

The more knowledgeable people are about the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders and other mental health challenges, the earlier youth, young adults, and their families will get the help they need. Research has shown that early detection and treatment of mental disorders can have a significant impact on the lives of young people. YMHFA assist first aiders to recognize the signs early, before problems become a full-blown crisis, and respond appropriately.


The more knowledgeable people are about mental disorders the less stigma will be associated with these common life challenges. The more people are aware of what effective supports and treatments exist, the more young people will get the appropriate help they need.