One Caring Adult

 In a recent poll, one in six Fredericksburg-area students said they had considered suicide in the previous year; one in 10 had attempted to suicide. More than a quarter reported feeling sad or hopeless for more than two weeks during the previous year.

One in five teenagers has a mental health condition. Suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24. 

These statistics sound scary. And they are. But there is hope. When adults are trained to recognize the signs of mental health concerns and to respond appropriately, they can connect adolescents to life-saving treatment. 

One caring adult can save a teenager's life. 

But it can be difficult to recognize the signs of mental illness. The stereotypical teenager is extremely moody. Often, people will say, "Oh, he's just being a typical teenager" or "Teenage girls are just like that."

Hormones, growth spurts, and the challenges of middle school can lead to emotional angst that isn't mental illness. This often hides the first signs of trouble. It's one reason why more than 40% of American children with depression do not receive treatment. 

This is especially troubling because half of all mental illness starts to manifest before the age of 14. And 75% show signs before an individual turns 24. 

This makes the adolescent years crucial for people who have mental illness. Studies show that early treatment of mental illness helps outcomes. 

Cute pretty teen daughter with mature mother hugging in nature at sunset

Want to be that caring adult? We can show you how. 


We offer an eight-hour training to help adults who interact regularly with adolescents ages 12-18. The Youth Mental Health First Aid curriculum is appropriate for parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, youth group leaders, and coaches. The next training  will be offered on February 27. It will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 3302 Bourbon Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22408. 

Through role-playing and simulations, participants gain skills to offer assistance in a mental health crisis. Participants will learn the common mental health challenges faced by youth, typical adolescent development and five-step action plans to help. Topics will include anxiety, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The $25 registration fee includes a workbook, a 3-year training certificate and lunch.

To register for the training, contact Jennifer Bateman, Prevention Specialist, at 540/374-3337, ext. 100 or




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Emergency Services are still available. Please call 540-373-6876 if you or a loved one are experiencing a crisis.

Due to the current State of Emergency, and in accordance with recommendation to limit in-person gatherings to 10 or less, our May Board of Directors meeting will be held virtually at 5 p.m. on May 19. Public comment may be submitted up until 4:00 pm on May 19th by emailing  Public comments that include the full name and address of the commenter will be read into the record during the Public Comment portion of the meeting.  The meeting will be Livestreamed on Rappahannock Area Community Services Board’s Facebook page on May 19, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

We encourage our community to stay home (whenever possible) and stay safe throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. We now offer most of our outpatient, early intervention, and case management services via telemedicine so you can receive the support you need from the safety of your home.

Our committee and board meetings and facilities tour for April have been canceled. Our day support programs are suspended temporarily.

Our popular plant sale is continuing but with some changes to ensure everyone's safety. Please order ahead and your plants will be waiting for you when you drive up.

At this time, we are suspending recruitment for most positions. See our employment portal for more information.

COVID-19 Updates and Resources