USA Mental Health First Aid logoMental Health First Aid Certification- Youth Focus

9:00AM-5:00PM (you must attend the entire session to become certified) 
$175 per person includes lunch, all materials, and 3-year certification (space is very limited) 


Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for adolescents ages 15-19 and half of all mental health problems begin by age 14. With one in five youth experiencing mental health and substance use problems, but less than one-third of them accessing treatment, early intervention and support of young people experiencing emotional and substance use challenges is critical within school settings.

Studies demonstrate that early detection and treatment of mental health and substance use problems in adolescents can make a difference in not only emotional wellness, but also in their academic success. Teachers and support staff need the appropriate tools to engage students who might be experiencing a mental health problem or crisis just as they would be trained to address physical health emergencies.

Every day, schools and youth programs across the country are making a difference in the lives of millions of adolescents because they have equipped their staff with the skills learned in Youth Mental Health First Aid®.


Youth Mental Health First Aid® USA is an 8-hour in-person training program — like traditional First Aid or CPR — designed to give participants the skills to help adolescents age 12-18 who are developing a mental health problem or experiencing an emotional crisis. The course uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to recognize and respond to warning signs and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling – rather, they learn to support a youth by applying a five-step action plan, “ALGEE:”

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Youth Mental Health First Aid® is operated in the United States by the National Council for Behavioral Health and was developed with experts at the National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health at the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. More than one million individuals have been certified in Mental Health First Aid® and Youth Mental Health First Aid® to date through a network of 12,000 instructors. The training program is listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices and has been demonstrated to:

  • Increase knowledge of mental health problems and substance use disorders
  • Increase confidence in and likelihood to help an individual in distress
  • Increase participant mental wellness
  • Decrease social distance (stigma)


Youth Mental Health First Aid provides a common language regarding mental wellness for school and youth program personnel and expands the network of emotional support beyond the existing counseling and social work staff to the broader school community. Participants learn 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, and substance use disorders.

The ability to recognize that a young person’s lack of focus, bullying behaviors or failure to turn in assignments may be linked to an underlying mental health or substance use problem is an important step in supporting them effectively. The greater the number of teachers, coaches, youth group leaders, parents and school support staff trained, the more students will benefit from accessing the help that they need.

Jennifer MagnaboscoJennifer L. Magnabosco, PhD, ACC is a Principal Consultant, Certified Life Transitions, Career & Leadership Coach, and Workshop Trainer with over 25 years of experience in the fields of mental health, substance use, and health. She has held a variety of management, research, clinical practice, teaching, training, and consulting positions in public and private sector organizations. She provides Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings as a Certified MHFA Instructor for the Adult, Youth, and Higher Education Modules. Her presentations and publications focus on the implementation, improvement, and evaluation of government and community-based human services and organizations, change implementation and management, career and leadership development, emotional intelligence, and outcomes measurement. She is Co-Editor of the first (1997) and second (2011) editions of the National Association of Social Work (NASW) Press books, Outcomes Measurement in the Human Services: Cross-Cutting Issues and Methods.Dr. Magnabosco currently serves as Mental Health Section Policy Chair-American Public Health Association, Mentor-Network for Social Work Management, Mentor-University of Chicago Women’s Athletic Association, and reviewer for professional journals. She received her PhD (in Social Policy Administration, and Community Mental Health) from Columbia University; her MA (in Social Science: Human Development) and BA (in Behavioral Science) from the University of Chicago; and her certifications as a Life Transitions & Leadership Coach from the Hudson Institute of Coaching; Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coach Federation; Career Coach from GetFive; Emotional Intelligence Practitioner from Learning In Action Technologies; and MHFA Instructor from the National Council for Behavioral Health.


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