Project AWARE - Northwest CT is a coordinated community-wide effort to respond to increased behavioral health needs in adolescent's ages 12-18 residing in the remote rural northwest corner of CT. Over 1,300 school personnel and youth-serving adults will be trained as Youth Mental Health "First Aiders". The focus population, 5,800 students enrolled in 11 schools in NW CT, ranges from 3-30% minority, with 9-49% of students meeting the requirements for free/reduced school lunch. Emphasis is placed on reaching high risk youth, e.g., homeless youth, youth with school disciplinary offenses, and juvenile offenders, within the catchment area. The Project Objectives include: increase the mental health literacy of adults in NW CT by creating a diverse team of YMHFA Instructors and First Aiders; build community capacity for early identification and response to the behavioral health needs of adolescents by training a total of 1,380 school personnel and youth-serving adults in NW CT as YMH "First Aiders" over the 3 year project period; establish and strengthen referral networks with behavioral health service providers to connect adolescents with appropriate, affordable, and culturally competent assistance and services; and build capacity in the school community and in the community-at large to address the behavioral health needs of adolescents through enhanced partnerships with youth-serving community coalitions, and community and faith-based agencies and groups.
North Iowa Project AWARE (NIPA) will increase mental health literacy and enhance youth behavioral service delivery among adults from diverse community sectors in a rural seven county North Central Iowa area with a population of 10,164 youth, ages 12-18. Six instructors representing education, law enforcement, the faith community, substance abuse prevention, and behavioral health youth serving organizations-will be trained to deliver Youth Mental Health First Aid during year one. These instructors will train 340 First Aiders in year one, 295 in year two, and 280 in year three-for a total of 915 adults across the seven county area over the full period of this grant. The work of NIPA will be integrated into the long-term strategic plan of the coalition. Project work and outcomes will also be shared with 15 school districts; 3 regional planning groups, 4 additional area coalitions, 7 county health departments, and multiple area organizations to inform and enhance their behavioral health efforts for young people.
Capacity Builders will train 600 First Aiders in the Central Consolidated School District, including Kirtland, Shiprock, naschitti and Newcomb. The targeted community is located in northwest New Mexico on the Navajo Nation. The overall goal of the project is to improve mental health outcomes for CCSD students. Specific objectives include: 1. Increase awareness of mental health issues among youth ages 12-18 via the approved SAMHSA YMHFA training. 2. Conduct outreach and engagement strategies with youth 12-18 and their families to increase awareness of and promote positive mental health. 3. Increase the mental health literacy of school personnel and other adults who interact with youth 12-18 via YMHFA training.
4. Increase the capacity to respond to the behavioral health issues and developmental needs of youth ages 12-18. 5. Increase community-wide awareness of suicide prevention strategies and early warning signs through a culturally-aligned Public Awareness Campaign. The project will build the capacity of the Central Consolidated School District community to detect and respond to behavioral health issues impacting adolescents, and to connect those with behavioral health issues to needed services before crisis level is reached.
Clinical and Support Options, of Western Massachusetts (Hampshire, Franklin and northwestern Worcester (North Quabbin) Counties), plan to offer Mental Health First Aid, both youth and adult, to those in our communities who are in a position to make a difference: public school and college/university faculty and staff, primary care providers, community-based agency staff, first responders/law enforcement and juvenile court personnel. There are 33,534 youth 10-19 in the tri-county service area. YMHFA training will be provided at three of five outpatient centers and in community venues in the counties' population centers: Greenfield in Franklin County, Athol in the North Quabbin area and Northampton in Hampshire County. Through partnering with Communities that Care and the Collaborative for Educational Services, widespread marketing and community outreach in general mental health awareness as well as to publicize free YMHFA training for any resident will be achieved. CSO will coordinate an information and referral process in which all participants will be trained. Instructors will also be certified in three specialties: Rural Audiences, Higher Education and Public Safety. The project's goals will be achieved through the following objectives: to teach community members how to support the individual and to help seek appropriate treatment for them by training 650 people in YMHFA; to reduce the stigma of mental illness in our communities; and foster an understanding of mental illness in trainees and in the community at large through increasing public awareness in every segment of the community through a process of community outreach and marketing. Six Instructors will be certified in YMHFA, who will train 650 community residents over three years.
Aunt Martha's Youth Service Center (Aunt Martha's) NITT-AWARE -C program will expand the capacity to detect and respond to behavioral health issues impacting adolescents (ages 12 - 18) and connect those with behavioral health issues to needed services. The targeted geographic area for this program encompasses Iroquois, Vermilion, Edgar and Clark counties, four rural counties in East Central Illinois bordering Indiana. The geographic area is over 3,150 square miles; population density is 45 people per square mile. The geographic catchment area has 14,215 adolescents of which 85% are White, 10% Black, 4% Hispanic, 1% Other. Through a NITT Advisory Council the program will build collaborative partnerships with youth serving agencies and programs to engage adults to become Youth Mental Health "First Aiders" for adolescents in their community. The objectives of this program are: maintain 3 adults who are credentialed /certified to provide YMHFA First Aid training over the three year project period; 2,010 individuals receive training to respond to adolescents (ages 12 - 18) who have a behavioral health crisis over the three year project period; and YMHFA Aiders will refer 3,000 adolescents (ages 12 -18) who need help to a mental health and/or substance abuse provider over the three year project period.
The East Dayton AWARE Project provides Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trainings to adults who interact with transition-aged youth, ages 16-24, in the 45403 and 45410 zip code areas in East Dayton, Ohio. Six MHFA Instructors provide 12 trainings per year for three years to certify 900 people as First Aiders. Transition-aged youth (TAY) in this catchment area experience high poverty rates, failing schools, a lack of employment opportunities, insecure attachments with adults, unsafe neighborhoods, and deteriorating housing. The most common diagnoses are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, bipolar, depression, anxiety, and opioid-related substance use disorders. EDAP will saturate the East Dayton area with one certified First Aider to every five-to-six TAY. This is a saturation rate of 18% and will be accomplished by training 300 First Aiders per year, for a total of 900 trained by the end of the third year. Wellness Support meetings will provide ongoing support for newly certified First Aiders who may have been emotionally impacted by their act of helping others. The project's measurable objectives are: train six instructors to provide 12 MHFA courses per year resulting in 900 First Aiders within three years; achieve 75% participation from youth-serving agencies; increase First Aiders' knowledge of signs, symptoms, and risk factors of mental illnesses; increase First Aiders' help-seeking behaviors; improve First Aiders' own mental wellness; improve First Aiders' knowledge of professional and self-help resources; increase First Aiders' confidence in providing help to people experiencing mental health problems; reduce First Aiders' perceived stigma towards mental health disorders; complete 20 Memorandums of Understanding with TAY-serving organizations; increase the number of First Aiders who report using the MHFA Action Plan; and increase the number of First Aiders who report providing referral information to mental health services.
Mental Health First Aid for Youth in Transition is a project co-sponsored by Outreach Community Health Centers, Inc. and Lad Lake, Inc. that is designed to improve the mental health literacy of adults who come into contact with transition-aged youth and, through them, the proportion of youth who access mental health supports earlier in the progression of their illness. The project is designed to complement a similar effort undertaken by the Milwaukee Public Schools District so as to provide the widest and most diverse geographic reach through Milwaukee County while concentrating efforts and targeting out-of-school, disconnected and/or marginalized youth (16-24) in some of Milwaukee's poorest and most troubled neighborhoods. Primary project activities include the training of 30 area "Mental Health First Aiders" comprised of neighborhood leaders, private/charter school educators, municipal police departments, transit and library workers, neighborhood centers and associations, communities of faith and youth-serving organizations. In turn, these 30 instructors will provide MHFA training to at least 5,625 other adults in the community who have the opportunity to encounter and engage transition-aged youth. It is expected that the number of youth between the ages of 16-24 who present for services at area behavioral health organizations to increase by 20%. As a related objective, project activities are designed to increase by 20% the number of youth who seek services for mental health conditions prior to those conditions progressing to serious mental illness.
Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services, Inc., will support the training of teachers and a broad array of actors who interact with youth through their programs at the community level, including parents, law enforcement, faith-based leaders, and other adults, in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). Adolescents between the ages of 12-18 are the selected population to be served by this project. Implementation of the NITT-AWARE-C program is expected to increase the mental health literacy among youth-serving adults, policymakers, and administrators of programs serving youth. The project will provide services in the target area of central Massachusetts, serving Worcester, Shrewsbury, Grafton, Northborough, Westborough and Southborough. The opioid epidemic in this area is well documented. Additionally, this area has a large immigrant population dealing with many psychosocial stressors including language barriers, addiction, poverty, unemployment, and high housing costs. This program aims to train 500 youth serving adults and parents over the three years of this project. The goals of the program are:
Goal 1: Increase the mental health literacy of our youth-serving adults, policy-makers, and administrators of programs serving youth.
Goal 2: Expand the capacity of those in our targeted catchment area to detect and respond to adolescents with behavioral health issues.
Goal 3: Help connect adolescents with behavioral health issues to appropriate and needed services.
Monroe County Project AWARE led by Delphi Drug & Alcohol Council will form a cadre of 15 YMHFA instructors maintained throughout the project period who in turn will train at least 1,500 YMHFA First Aiders to increase the Mental Health literacy of adults that work with youth across 20 zip codes and 10 school districts in Monroe County, NY. Partners will carry out an implementation plan to achieve the following goals: Reduced self-reports of teen-aged depression, increased referrals for mental health services, increased numbers of YMHFA instructors and First Aiders and greater community awareness of the importance of early recognition and treatment of mental health problems. The project is focused on two key populations: Disconnected Youth and Juvenile Justice Involved youth (Approx. 2,800).
To improve support and referrals for youth ages 12 - 18 with behavioral health issues in the poorest neighborhoods of Dayton, OH, Mt. Olive Baptist Church will provide YMHFA training for 1,320 adults who live and/or work in the 45417 zip code area (population: 31,000), which is comprised of 17 neighborhoods that are 95% African American, extremely poor, and largely consist of single-parent households with unemployed, underemployed, and/or undereducated adults. The level of violence and crime is higher than in other parts of the city, and the youth in these neighborhoods experience greater ambient hazards such as crime, violence, and drug use. The perception of the home neighborhood as dangerous influences the mental health of adolescents, resulting in higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other behavioral health issues. The purpose of Mt. Olive's YMHFA training and outreach program is to build the capacity of adults living and working in the 45417 zip code area to detect and respond to behavioral health issues impacting adolescents and to connect adolescents with behavioral health issues to needed services provided by SBHI. Three African American community leaders in the 45417 zip code area will receive training as YMHFA instructors. Together, they will offer two YMHFA trainings per month, providing YMHFA training to 360 adults in Year 1, 480 adults in Year 2, and 480 adults in Year 3, for a total of 1,320 over the grant-funding period. Given that there are 7,350 adolescents in the 45417 zip code area, the saturation rate with 1,320 First Aiders would be 1,320 / 7,350, or 18%. Thus, there would be 1 First Aider for every 5.5 youths in the 45417 zip code area at the end of the funding period. This level of saturation would be ideal to provide needed adult social support to all youth in the 45417 zip code area and identify youth who may have behavioral health issues.
Catholic Charities of the East Bay's "Now is the Time" Project AWARE in West Contra Costa County, California will improve mental health and substance abuse outcomes for youth in the West Contra Costa Unified School District by training 1,200 (400 each year) adults - parents, teachers, youth service providers, and local leaders, including faith-based institutions -in Youth Mental Health First Aid. There will be five primary objectives within this program: increase the mental health literacy of adults who interact with adolescents in West Contra Costa; increase the capacity of adults within communities to respond to behavioral health issues of adolescents; increase the number of collaborative partnerships with youth-serving community agencies and programs; link adolescents with behavioral health issues to mental, emotional and behavioral health assistance and services; and conduct outreach and engagement strategies with adolescents and their families or caregivers to increase awareness of and promote positive behavioral health assistance and services. Adolescents, especially those from Richmond, the major city within West Contra Costa County, are exposed to chronic levels of community, family, and interpersonal violence, which have had a serious detrimental effect on the mental health outcomes of our youth. There is currently no YMHFA training available in the area. YMHFA Instructors will be cross trained in restorative justice practices.
Communities in Schools (CIS) of South Texas will implement YMHFA in Guadalupe County to increase the mental health literacy of the community. To increase the mental health literacy of adults who interact with adolescents or transition-aged youth in Guadalupe County CIS will: 1.) Provide Youth Mental Health First Aid training to teachers and school staff at each secondary campus in Guadalupe County. 2.) Increase the capacity of community adults to respond to the behavioral health issues of adolescents or transition-aged youth by: Certifying through a Certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor each Foster Parent in Guadalupe County and each YMHFA Project staff member as a YMHFA First Aider. 3.) Hold Quarterly Town Hall meetings in the community to engage families and caregivers to increase awareness and to promote positive behavioral health; and conduct weekly outreach services and activities for each of the groups targeted in Goal One and Two to increase their awareness and to solicit their participation in YMHFA training. 4.) Develop a comprehensive list of services available for adolescents or transition-aged youth and publicize it in awareness classes at schools, electronically, and in all training provided by YMHFA; and utilizing the outreach and engagement strategies ensure community members and stakeholders are aware of how and where to refer adolescents and transition-aged youth in need of mental health services. 5.) Determine and identify youth-serving agencies and programs in the community and provide that information in the outreach and engagement strategies; and Involve the relevant youth-serving community agencies and programs in Town Hall meetings to strengthen collaborative partnerships that increase access to adolescents and transition-aged youth with mental health needs.
The Cuyahoga County College Mental Health First Aid (CCCMHFA) project will provide MHFA training to up to 1,410 faculty, staff, and student leaders that work closely with transition-aged youth at five campuses in the Cleveland, OH metropolitan area. It will also build and convene an area-wide campus mental health coalition of campus and community organizations, and provide expertise to campus Behavioral Intervention Teams. CCCMHFA will serve a transition-aged population of 23,125 students at five collegiate partners. This population is overwhelmingly 18-24 years old and diverse in age, race, and ethnicity, with undergraduate populations ranging from 15% to 46% minority, and 46% to 91% female across the five schools. The project will provide training to up to 420 people in year one, 600 in year two, and 390 in year three. At least 45% of these will use their training and/or refer at least one student to a campus or community-based mental health service provider each year. Each coalition partner will attend at least 50% of coalition meetings during the term of the grant, and at least 50% of partners will be in attendance at each coalition meeting. Project staff will attend all Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) meetings at each of the five campus partners, generally held quarterly.
The purpose of Linn County Project AWARE is to support the training of teachers, other school staff, and a wide range of community partners and other adults in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). The goal of Linn County Project AWARE is to Increase the Mental Health Literacy of youth-serving adults in Linn County. The following objectives provide the necessary framework to reach the goal: increase the capacity to train youth-serving adults in YMHFA; increase the number of adults trained in YMHFA; increase the capacity of adults to respond to adolescent behavioral health issues; develop and implement a mental health literacy campaign in all 7 Linn County school districts; increase adolescent referrals to behavioral health resources by first aiders; and develop and increase collaborative partnerships with youth-serving agencies and programs to benefit youth with mental health needs in Linn County. Linn County Project AWARE will train a minimum of 400 adults in YMHFA in year 1, 475 in Year 2, and 475 in Year 3. The Project will reach out across the community to insure participants reflect the diversity of the community, including providing Spanish Language YMHFA trainings.
The behavioral health division of Tanner Medical Center, Inc.-Willowbrooke at Tanner will implement "Now is the Time" Project AWARE-Community Grants (NITT-AWARE-C) program and its community-wide implementation of Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA), in order to amplify efforts toward building a full continuum of multi-level behavioral health services and supports for over 45,000 adolescents (ages 12-18) in Carroll, Bartow, Paulding and Coweta counties. Tanner, in partnership with area behavioral health service providers and other youth-serving community agencies in Carroll, Bartow, Paulding and Coweta counties, will certify 12 YMHFA instructors over the three-year NITT-AWARE-C project period, who will in turn train a total of 2,650 YMHFA First Aiders (920 in Year 1; 855 in Year 2; and 875 in Year 3).
The purpose of "Now is the Time" Project AWARE RobCo is to promote healthy development for youth ages 12-17 in Robertson County, TN. The goal is to expand the capacity of youth-serving adults to identify mental health issues in school-age youth, assist those experiencing a mental health crisis, identify, and refer youth in-need to appropriate professional services. Over the 3-year grant period, Family and Children's Services of Nashville will certify and maintain 8 core Youth Mental Health First Aid (YHMFA) Instructors who in turn will train 1,111 "First Aiders". In addition, Project AWARE RobCo staff, certified Instructors, and First Aiders will help increase access for over 11,000 Robertson County Schools' students to mental health services through the initiation of a comprehensive, integrated referral system designed to address the need for early identification of developmental and/or behavioral concerns, and link youth and their families to community-based developmental and behavioral supports.
Project Duval AWARE is a collaborative initiative between the Partnership for Child Health, Mental Health America of Northeast Florida and the Jacksonville Children's Commission to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid training to adults who work with youth ages 12 - 18 who reside in Duval County with an emphasis on the urban core. YMHFA participants will include law enforcement and corrections officers; faith based community leaders, after school providers; case managers; juvenile justice probation officers; family members and other caring citizens. Project Duval AWARE will build upon the strengths and resources that exist within Jacksonville's mental health service delivery systems and will address infrastructure gaps and weaknesses.
The purpose of Project AWARE Kent is to provide MHFA to Kent State University (KSU) students and staff who interact with the 20,606 KSU transition-aged college students at the KSU main campus. This will be accomplished by saturating the campus, at an estimated ratio of 1:28.6, with at least 720 individuals trained as First Aiders. A total of 20,606 undergraduate and graduate students between the ages of 18-24 were enrolled on the main KSU campus per 2015 spring institutional research data. The majority of KSU students are female, Caucasian and heterosexual. Slightly over one third of students are low income, and 7.5% self-report as LGBT. Almost 35% of KSU female students and 43% of KSU male students between age 18-24 report binge drinking and 19% of students report illegal drug use in the past 30 days. Almost one third of students (30.9%) reported thinking about getting help for mental health problems like depression, anxiety or other issue while they have been a student at KSU an average of 7.5 separate times, but only 42.9% actually sought help. Consequently, we propose to increase the mental health literacy at the university level through the following goals and objectives: eight individuals comprising members of surrounding mental health community agencies and the university will be trained to deliver the MHFA program; train a minimum of 720 individuals as MHFA First Aiders over the life of the project (240 individuals per year of the project); at least 5% of members of student organizations will participate in the 8-hour MHFA training over the course of the 3-year project period and be trained as MH First Aiders; initiate a modest, but vital social marketing and awareness campaign to further increase awareness of mental health and remind individuals of their responsibilities as First Aiders; and increase from baseline in the number of students receiving referrals for services/screenings at university-based counseling centers and community agencies.
Switchboard of Miami, proposes to implement Project on the MDC Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami (33132) through Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training. Given that MDC transition-aged students are predominantly female (58%), Hispanic (64%), and low income (64%), they are especially at risk for mental health issues and/or substance use disorders. A 2013 NIDA report noted a disturbing trend in injection drug use among a new, young adult cohort of prescription opioid injectors, heroin initiates, and methamphetamine users in Miami-Dade County. Though the need is great, MDC has no student counseling centers or formal process to connect students in distress to the behavioral health services they require. There is no record of any MHFA Instructors or First Aiders within the 33132 zip code and only 6 Instructors and 441 First Aiders "located in and around Miami." The newly trained First Aiders will saturate the MDC Wolfson campus and Downtown Miami (33132) with an estimated ratio of 1 First Aider to every 15 transition-aged youth on campus. Project AWARE goals are to: increase the mental health literacy of adults who interact with the transition-aged youth who attend MDC's Wolfson campus; increase the capacity of adults within our geographic catchment area to respond to the behavioral health issues of transition-aged youth; conduct outreach and engagement strategies with transition-aged youth and their families to increase awareness of and promote positive behavioral health; link transition-aged youth with behavioral health issues to mental, emotional, and behavioral health assistance and services; increase collaborative partnerships with youth-serving agencies and programs.
Touchstone Behavioral Health (TBH) intends to improve the quantity and quality of life for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 years through the deployment of a cadre of individuals trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. The geographic area of interest is the Southwest Valley of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, which includes areas of west Phoenix, Tolleson, Avondale, and Goodyear. TBH intends to coordinate the training of 375 individuals a year for the three project years, resulting in 1,125 individuals trained in offering mental health first aid to adolescents. It is expected that these 1,125 individuals will assist approximately 6,750 distressed youth in accessing vitally needed behavioral health services and other community resources. The catchment area for this project is the southwestern portion of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. The total population for this catchment area is 152,077, of whom 15,932 are between the ages of 12 - 17 years (American Community Survey, 2013). Of the total population for the catchment area, 77.7% are White, 9.3% African American, 2.4% Asian American, 1.5 American Indian, and 9.0% other. The majority of residents are Hispanic at 51.1%, and 37.9% of all residents older than 5 years of age speak Spanish at home.
The Char-Em Youth Behavioral Health Initiative (CE-YBHI) aims to 1) Expand the capacity of adults who interface with youth to identify and respond to mental health issues and substance use among the 5,200 adolescents age 12 to 17 who live in Charlevoix and Emmet counties and 2) Connect those adolescents to appropriate ongoing behavioral health services in rural Northwest Michigan. A needs assessment reveals many in Charlevoix and Emmet counties experience mental health disparities, putting them at increased risk for physical health, problem in social relationships, reduced psychological well-being and financial difficulties. These disparities include: 1) high rates of suicide ideation, depression and bullying; 2) adversity in childhood resulting from high rates of substance use among adults, domestic violence, and confirmed child abuse and neglect; 3) limited access to behavioral health services; 4) geographic isolation; and 5) high rates of substance use among adolescents. The CE-YBHI will facilitate Youth Mental Health First Aid training in Charlevoix and Emmet counties with a diverse array of community partners including teachers, school administrators, parents, law enforcement and policy-makers, result in at least 600 trained First Aiders. Currently there are zero First Aiders in our two-county catchment area. These trainings will lead to a 1 to 7 ratio of First Aiders to adolescents, effectively saturating our community.
Project AWARE Community Grant allows Janesville Mobilizing 4 Change (JM4C) to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid training to equip adults with the skills to help an adolescent developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. JM4C's goal is to reduce the number of youth reporting depressive symptoms and attempting suicide. They will reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues and increase youth access to care. Based on adolescent reports of high rates of depression, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts from the 2014 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, JM4C expanded their focus from substance abuse prevention to include improving the mental health environment for youth. Youth in Janesville are surrounded by risk factors for mental health: poverty, juvenile arrest rates, homelessness, youth and adult substance abuse, unemployment, child maltreatment, bullying, low school connectedness, and poor academic achievement. JM4C Project AWARE will reach its goals through the following objectives: train 1.6% of the adult population, youth will be surrounded by trained adults who are capable of recognizing and responding to any mental health issues that arise; and to decrease the number of attempted suicides by 5%, as measured through the Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
The Denver-AWARE, youth mental health first aid (YMHFA) training program, led by the Denver Department of Human Services (DDHS), will serve adolescents (ages 12-18) from five targeted ZIP codes in the city and county of Denver, Colorado, where there is a high concentration of risk factors for behavioral health issues. Denver-AWARE will train as many as 4,050 individuals as youth mental health first aiders. Denver-AWARE seeks to achieve the following objectives: at least 3,000 adults who are representative of the communities to be served and who interact with adolescents in Denver will have completed the YMHFA training; at least 75% of the adults trained through Denver-AWARE will self-report an increase in youth mental health literacy as measured by pre- and post-surveys; at least 50% of the adults trained through Denver-AWARE will self-report using youth mental health literacy skills in real world situations, as measured through survey and focus groups responses; 30 instructors who are employed by a range of organizations, including city agencies and youth serving entities, will be certified to provide YMHFA training; develop and launch a youth-led social media campaign aimed at decreasing stigma regarding mental health issues and supports; increase the number of youth behavioral health referrals in the targeted communities by at least 10%; and convene a project advisory council of 13-20 members representative of the communities served that will support strategies aimed at decreasing stigma regarding mental health issues.
The South Dakota "Now is the Time" Project Aware Training Initiative will focus on increasing the mental health literacy of adults who interact with 12 to 18 year old adolescents. The plan is to train 12 Behavioral Health professionals who are currently Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructors, to also become Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) instructors. South Dakota ranked 16th in the nation among the states for the rate of suicides in 2013 and has consistently had a higher rate of suicide than that in the United States over the past decade. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in South Dakota for those under age 35 (South Dakota Department of Health, 2013). Youth ages 10-24 had a national suicide rate of 8.1 per 100,000 in 2013, while South Dakota's youth of the same age had a rate of 21.9 per 100,000 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The suicide rate for South Dakota youth ages 15 to 19 for the period of 2010 to 2013 was 24.3 per 100,000 which is three times higher than the national rate of 8.1 per 100,000 for the same time period. The project objectives include: increase the mental health literacy of youth-serving adults; increase the capability of youth-serving adults to respond to the behavioral health needs of youth in their community; foster and support referral of youth with behavioral health needs by linking youth to behavioral health support services; increase the number of collaborative partnerships with youth-serving agencies. During the first year of the grant, there will be 12 individuals who had previously been trained in Mental Health First Aid trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. They will train 900 First Aiders during year 1 and 2,946 First Aiders in the 3 years of the project.
This project will serve transition age youth (TAY) and the adults that work most closely with them at 12 colleges and universities in 11 distinct census tracts in Worcester County, Massachusetts. Working closely with the identified colleges and universities, Community Healthlink will train over 1,100 adults on campus to become Mental Health First Aid "First Aiders" that will be know how to recognize TAY with emergent mental health issues and will refer them to area behavioral health service providers for assessment and treatment. Project success will be measured by: a decrease in the percentage of TAY who report depression or anxiety; an increase in the percentage of adults who are trained as MHFA First Aiders; and an increase in the percentage of TAY referred to behavioral health service screening, assessment, or treatment.
"Building Capacity and Collaboration through Public Education in Rural Maine Counties" is a proposal by NAMI Maine, focused on delivering Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Trainings to three high-need, resource-poor counties: Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington. As a result of this project, each contract year, 200 individuals in each of the three counties will be certified, for a total of 1,800 total individuals trained. These are the three lowest-ranked counties in the state of Maine for both health factors and outcomes, with the collective population accounting for 7% of Maine's total population. In each county an advisory board of six to ten members will be formed to govern the work of the project. The Outcome Measures tracked for this project are: impact the percentage of high school students who report being bullied in the past year as a population-based outcome; the youth suicide rate in each county as a behavioral health outcome; the number of adults who report providing assistance to youth to discuss mental health concerns as an environmental outcome.
The purpose of the Pontotoc County Project Aware will certify 10 YMHFA instructors who will train a minimum of 750 youth-serving adults in the community during the project period. There are approximately 5,050 youth, ages 10-19, residing in Pontotoc County. The total population for the county is 37,992. Training 750 of the adults within the county will result in a ratio of one adult First Aider for approximately every seven youth. Project goals will be reached through the following objectives: train 12 YMHFA Instructors in Pontotoc County; maintain 12 YMHFA Instructors in Pontotoc County; train 750 YMH First Aiders in Pontotoc County; increase First Aider ability to identify common youth symptoms by 20%; provide outreach and engagement with youth and families to promote positive behavioral health; provide at least 4 educational engagement opportunities for parents and youth serving adults to increase knowledge of youth issues, warning signs, and resources by the end of each grant year; provide at least 2 educational engagement opportunities for youth to gain a better understanding of mental/behavioral health issues and resources by the end of each grant year; provide 100% of YMH First Aiders trained with resource and referral guide for Pontotoc County throughout grant period; track referrals conducted by YMH First Aiders by collecting log sheets from 75% of YMH First Aiders of each grant year; decrease youth (ages 12-18) depressive symptoms by 5%; develop YMHFA leadership committee of at least 10 individual agency partners from youth-serving sectors; host quarterly meetings of YMHFA leadership committee to address needs, gaps, and progress toward goals; and collaborate with youth serving partners to conduct yearly update of needs assessment.
The Institute of Research, Education, and Services in Addiction (IRESA) of the Universidad Central del Caribe (UCC), School of Medicine proposes Project AWARE-Puerto Rico. AWARE-Puerto Rico will target the municipalities of Canovanas, Loiza, Rio Grande, and Luquillo, Puerto Rico (part of the School District of Canovanas). This project is a capacity building initiative seeking to train four school representatives, one health educator, and the coordinator of the program in the Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) curriculum. After these resources become YMHFA instructors they will provide training to 1,440 individuals that interact on regularly basis with school adolescents 12-18 years old over the next three years. The purpose of this project is to build and expand the capacity of communities to detect and respond to behavioral health issues impacting school adolescents 12-18 years and connect those youth with behavioral health need services. This will be accomplished by increasing the mental health literacy of adults who interact with adolescents or transition-aged youth; increasing the capacity of adults within communities to respond to the behavioral health issues of adolescents or transition-aged youth, conducting outreach and engagement strategies with adolescents or transition-aged youth and their families or caregivers to increase awareness of and promote positive behavioral health, linking adolescents with behavioral health issues to mental, emotional, and behavioral health assistance and services; and increasing the number of collaborative partnerships with relevant youth-serving community agencies and programs.
Chestnut Health Systems, a community-based provider of behavioral health treatment and prevention services, proposes a Youth MHFA training project. Chestnut Health Systems will partner with the St. Clair County Youth Coalition. Four experienced mental health clinicians will complete YMHFA training in the nearby St, Louis, Missouri area, and will conduct 38 trainings for a total of 1,550 First Aiders trained over the three project years. The project is a natural outgrowth of an ongoing effort to institute a County-wide suicide prevention effort. There is an estimated population of 23,000 youth in this age range in St. Clair County. High rates of interpersonal violence and crime clearly impact the physical and emotional safety of local schools; many adolescents live in isolated communities, and chaotic and underserved neighborhoods. Project goals and objectives, in addition to recruiting and training YMHFA First Aiders, will be to implement an integrated and accessible network of mental health treatment resources for youth referred by adults for services. Specialized treatment services will be available for issues related to trauma, family violence, substance abuse, sexual and gender minority experience, young parents, and cultural identity.
Great Falls, Montana has a population of 5,021 adolescents aged 12-18 years with 25% residing in military families, 25% residing in poverty (75% in generational poverty), and 11% American Indian. One third of students grades 8-12 are involved in substance abuse; adolescents are disproportionately (compared to similar Montana Counties) involved in violent and criminal behavior; 35% are at high risk for engagement in problem behaviors; 46% reported depression, 30% serious depression, 19% seriously contemplated suicide and 14% completed suicide. This project will improve access to care and reduce adolescent depression, suicidal ideation and suicide completion and reduce mental health stigma and discrimination. Proposed strategies and interventions are to: improve the mental health literacy of adults who interact with adolescents and saturate Great Falls with Youth Mental Health First Aiders to improve recognition and response to early signs of behavioral distress and/or mental illness; develop and implement a social marketing campaign to reduce mental health stigma and discrimination; and facilitate implementation of a formal collaboration mechanism to facilitate sustainment of the project and coordination of programs and resources. The primary project goal is to improve adolescent emotional and behavioral health.