An Evaluation of Youth Mental Health First Aid Training in School Settings
- 630 Downloads
Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is a training program designed to help adults working with children and adolescents identify and respond to youth who are experiencing mental health problems or are in crisis. YMHFA is being implemented in a number of educational, child welfare, and juvenile justice settings across the country with little evidence of its effectiveness. As part of a broader mental health program implemented in five schools in a southeastern county in the USA, YMHFA was provided to school personnel over a 2-year period. This study presents the results of a pretest/posttest evaluation of the YMHFA training. In general, results provide preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of the YMHFA training. More specifically, results highlight the importance of YMHFA training for personnel who have never received mental health training/education and for those who do not have experience working with vulnerable youth populations.
KeywordsYouth Mental Health First Aid Youth mental health Gatekeeper training Teacher education
This project was funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ, Award # 2014-CK-BX-0014) to Drs. Childs and Gryglewicz. The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of NIJ; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Center for Mental Health in Schools (2016). ESSA, equity of opportunity, and addressing barriers to learning. Retrieved from http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/essaanal.pdf.
- Jorm, A. F., Korten, A. E., Jacomb, P. A., Christensen, H., Rodgers, B., & Pollitt, P. (1997). “Mental health literacy”: A survey of the public’s ability to recognise mental disorders and their beliefs about the effectiveness of treatment. Medical Journal of Australia, 166(4), 182–186.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Matthieu, M. M., Chen, Y., Schohn, M., Lantinga, L. J., & Knox, K. L. (2009). Educational preferences and outcomes from suicide prevention training in the Veterans Health Administration: One-year follow-up with healthcare employees in Update New York. Military Medicine, 174(11), 1123–1131.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Merikangas, K. R., He, J., Burstein, M., Swanson, S. A., Avenevoli, S., Cui, L., et al. (2010b). Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication—Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49(10), 980–989.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- National Council of Behavioral Health (2017). Youth Mental Health First Aid. Retrieved from https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/about/.
- Perou, R., Bitsko, R. H., Blumberg, S. J., Pastor, P., Ghandar, R. M., Gfroerer, J. C., et al. (2013). Mental health surveillance among children—United States, 2005–2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 62(02), 1–35. Retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6202a1.htm.
- Pierce, D., Liaw, S. T., Dobell, J., & Anderson, R. (2010). Australian rural football club leaders as mental health advocates: An investigation of the impact of the Coach the Coach project. International Journal of Mental Health Systems. https://doi.org/10.1186/1752-4458-4-10.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- The White House (2013, January). Now is the time: The president’s plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence. Retrieved from https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/docs/wh_now_is_the_time_full.pdf.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau (2010). The mental and emotional well-being of children: A portrait of states and the nation 2007. Retrieved from https://mchb.hrsa.gov/nsch/07emohealth/moreinfo/pdf/nsch07.pdf.
- Wyman, P. A., Brown, C. H., Inman, J., Cross, W., Schmeelk-Cone, K., Guo, J., et al. (2008). Randomized trial of a gatekeeper program for suicide prevention: 1-year impact on secondary school staff. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(1), 104–115.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Wyman, P. A., Brown, C. H., LoMurrary, M., Schmeelk-Cone, K., Petrova, M., Wang, Q., et al. (2010). An outcome evaluation of the Sources of Strength suicide prevention program delivered by adolescent peer leaders in high schools. American Journal of Public Health, 100(9), 1653–1661.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar