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MCS to present ‘first aid’ for youth’s mental health

MADISON – Sometimes even the most prepared parent needs to change direction in the huge responsibility of a child’s mental health. An upcoming session by Madison City Schools can assist parents with this subject.

MCS will present training for “Youth Mental Health – First Aid” to district parents and guardians. The event on Aug. 31 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will be held in the MCS Central Office’s board room at 211 Celtic Drive. The training can benefit parents who want to understand more about mental health challenges among youth and ways that parents can respond effectively.

Note: Participants must complete a two-hour online training session before attending the in-person training on Aug. 31.

Fee for the training is $35, which covers materials and certification. The MCS Mental Health Services Department has developed the workshop.

“We are blessed in Madison City Schools to have parents take advantage of these opportunities to learn about and support their students’ mental and emotional well-being,” Stephanie Allen said in a previous interview. Allen serves as MCS District Mental Health Coordinator.

Heather Myers, MCS Social Worker, is assisting with the parental training.

Currently, the class is full, but interested parents can sign up for a waiting list. Space is limited to 25 seats. When seats are open, registration is required. Visit forms.gle/afCh8ifV9DuNVS659. For more information, email slallen@madisoncity.k12.al.us.

A session in “Mental Health First Aid” reviews the need for recovery and resiliency. Many experts believe that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do improve, and the individuals use their strengths to stay well.

Most ‘first-aid’ classes cover topics such as depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, psychosis and substance use disorders.

Most participants who complete the course learn ways to apply the ‘Mental Health – First Aid.’ They will better understand panic attacks, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, non-suicidal self-injury; acute psychosis (such as hallucinations or delusions); overdose or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use; and reaction to a traumatic event.

To confirm registration, MCS staff will email a confirmation. After registration is complete, participants will receive all instructions about pre-work.

For the two-hour pre-work, participants will complete a self-paced online package and then attend the instructor-led training on Aug. 31.

“Both the self-paced and in-person portions must be successfully completed as part of the certification process for ‘Youth Mental Health – First Aid.’ Your certification is valid for three years, and you will have online access to ‘first-aid’ materials during that time,” Allen said.

For more information about the training, visit madisoncity.k12.al.us/domain/2411 or mentalhealthfirstaid.org/take-a-course/what-you-learn.

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