Youth Mental Health First Aid

Research, and our own agency experience, shows that youth today are experiencing a greater number of mental and emotional health challenges than in the past.

In an effort to address these challenges, Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Program team members were recently trained and certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

This evidence-based curriculum, accredited through the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, was taught by our own Christina Snell, BBBS’ Senior Director of Match Support, alongside Stephen Oakes, Director of Training & Partnerships at BBBS South Texas.

Together, they led a day-long course to certify participants as Mental Health First Aid responders, or ‘Mental Health First Aiders’.

Mental Health First Aiders will work to educate other adults about youth mental health concerns, teach them how to recognize warning signs and symptoms, and provide action plans to help youth who may be facing mental health problems or crises.

Christina and Stephen will lead two additional courses for BBBS staff members from Central Texas, South Texas, and beyond between now and September.

“We all have the ability, no matter what profession, to recognize mental health situations in youth and to feel confident in being responder ready,” Christina said. “This certification gives us the skills and knowledge to be able to identify and address those mental health needs.”

We are excited about increasing our own abilities, and the abilities of others, to help the children and families we serve with these critical needs.

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