Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

Rural AHEC has invested in training staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Instructor Training, because we believe that mental health is as important as physical health for our youth.

Email or call 585-786-6275 to contact one of our trainers for more information or to set up a training.


What is Youth Mental Health First Aid?

  • YMHFA is a 6 to 8 hour virtual, in-person or blended (hybrid) training that teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorder in youth. It gives district faculty and staff the skills and strategies they need to support middle and high school students with mental health challenges and connect them with appropriate resources.


Why should your district consider having their employees trained in YMHFA?

  • According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, 1 in 5 young people live with a mental health condition and 5.13% report having a substance use or alcohol problem. Government leaders enacted the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP-ESSER), and NYS accordingly allocated most of its ARP-ESSER funds to local education agencies. If your district received funding, one of the areas in which you must prioritize spending (and reporting) is implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs… We can help you with this!


Who should take the training?

  • Teachers
  • School staff members that have contact with students
  • Guidance counselors
  • Coaches
  • Club leaders
  • Youth group leaders
  • Anyone who works with youth


What format is used for YMHFA training?

  • Our certified trainers offer three models of YMHFA to adults who work with middle and high school aged youth:
    • Virtual – participants complete 2 hours of self-paced (online) pre-training learning, then participate in a 4.5 – 5.5 hour, instructor-led video conference
    • Blended – participants complete 2 hours of self-paced (online) pre-training learning, then participate in a 4.5 hour, in-person, instructor-led class
    • In-person (preferred) – participants will receive their training as an 8-hour, instructor-led in-person course.


What will Youth Mental Health First Aiders learn:

  • Common signs and symptoms of mental illness/challenges, including
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Eating Disorders
    • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Common signs and symptoms of substance use
  • How to interact with a student in crisis
  • How to connect the person with help
  • Impacts of trauma, addiction, social media and bullying
  • Self-care/resiliency
  • How to apply the ALGEE action plan
    • Assess for risk of suicide
    • Listen nonjudgmentally
    • Give reassurance and information
    • Encourage appropriate professional help
    • Encourage self-help and other support strategies


How much does YMHFA training through Rural AHEC cost?

  • Each training has a base price of $600
    • Covers trainer travel costs, salary and adminstrative costs
    • based on groups of 5 to 15 participants
    • groups over 15 participants may have slightly higher costs
  • Training materials cost $29 per participant
  • Total cost of training equals $600 base price plus $29(# of participants)
    • for a group of 15 participants, the total cost of training is only $69/participant!


Contact us today to set up a training as one of your Professional Development Day sessions or as an evening activity – we are here to support you!