In this two-year project, the Lower Cape May Regional School District is partnering with the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Inc. to develop a team of five certified Mental Health First Aid-Youth (MHFA-Youth) instructors consisting of school nurses, school safety officers, teachers, coaches and individual community members. MHFA-Youth training participants learn to identify risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in youth, understand the importance of early intervention, and develop the intervention skills to assist an adolescent experiencing a crisis. Through this project, the five instructors are training 200 school district and regional community stakeholders in Mental Health First Aid-Youth throughout Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem counties, becoming part of a statewide network of 15 MHFA-Youth trainers, and developing a plan for self-sufficiency that incorporates policy-and systems-change to increase awareness of mental health and substance use issues among adolescents. Over the long term, this network of certified trainers could impact health and equity across New Jersey by reducing the stigma of mental illness and addressing the behavioral health needs of adolescents through increased mental health literacy and improved access to care.
View an update from this project:
NJ School Superintendents Engage Community Partners to Support Youth through Mental Health First Aid
NJHI Blog. (2019, August 26).
Follow the latest news coverage regarding this work:
NJ Adults Take “Mental Health First Aid” Course to Spot Kids in Need
New Jersey 101.5 FM. (2018, October 24).
Maple Shade School District Staff Learn More about Mental Health
Burlington County Times/Ryan, L. (2018, October 26).