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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.