United Services will be hosting a free Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHA) training open to the community in May, as part of Mental Health Awareness Month activities. The two-part YMHFA training will take place at United Services’ Dayville clinic at 1007 North Main Street on Tuesday, May 19th and Tuesday, May 26th from 9:00am to 1:00pm each day (participants must attend both four-hour sessions.)

Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults — family members, caregivers, school staff, health and human services workers, etc. — who work with young people 12-25, providing instruction on how to help a child or teen who is experiencing a mental health or substance use problem or is in crisis. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

To register for Mental Health First Aid, contact John Goodman of United Services at 860-774-2020 or at jgoodman@usmhs.org.  This training will be offered for free thanks to scholarship funding provided by the annual Particle Accelerator benefit rock concert in memory of Jack Young Jr.  This year’s Particle Accelerator concert, a free event including many genres of music and made possible through the support of sponsors, will take place on Saturday, June 13th from Noon to 10pm at Rotary Park in Putnam.

“We’re happy to offer this free community Mental Health First Aid Training made possible through the tireless work of the family and friends of Jack Young Jr. to raise funds and help our community break through the stigma of mental illness,” said John Goodman, Director of Development and Communications for United Services. “Youth Mental Health First Aid training is an important resource to help train community members on how to provide basic care and support until professional assistance is available.”

Those who finish the course to certify as Mental Health First Aiders will learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help a youth in crisis connect with appropriate professional, peer, social, and self-help care.