Pathways, Inc. and the Tri-County Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy (KY- ASAP) Local Board are partnering to offer Mental Health First Aid for Youth training, Thursday, Aug. 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Rowan County Health Department, located at 730 West Main Street.

Mental Health First Aid for Youth is an interactive curriculum focused on helping youth, ages 12-18, who may be experiencing a mental health challenge or crisis.

The training is a public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems and how they differ from typical adolescent development, and builds understanding of the importance of early intervention when warning signs are present. There is no cost for the training, which includes snacks, lunch, and workshop materials, including a 212-page reference book.

Amy Jeffers, director of Pathways Regional Prevention Center, and Veronica “Ronne” Nunley, Pathways chief business development officer, will serve as instructors for the training. Both Jeffers and Nunley have been certified by Mental Health First Aid USA to offer the curriculum.

Any interested community member or anyone who regularly works or interacts with youth – teachers, athletic coaches, mentors, youth ministers, Juvenile Justice professionals – may find the course content useful. Participants will leave with a five-step action plan to assess situations and select appropriate interventions to help youth in crisis to connect them with appropriate treatment and supports. The training is disseminated by the National Council for Behavioral Health and is listed in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. Mental Health First Aid for Youth has been approved for seven hours EILA (Effective Instructional Leadership Act) credit hours (in Kentucky).

Those interested in attending can register by contacting Jeffers at amy.jeffers@pathways-ky.org or by calling (606) 329-8588, extension 4099. Pathways serves Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Lawrence, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, and Rowan counties with behavioral health, substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery, and intellectual and developmental disabilities support services.

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