Howell Alliance to host youth mental health first aid training


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HOWELL — The Howell Alliance for substance use prevention and mental health awareness will host a youth mental health first aid certification training session from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 13 at the municipal building, 4567 Route 9 North.

Youth mental health first aid has two aims: To teach adults who regularly interact with youths and young adults how to recognize and respond during a mental health or substance use emergency; and how to offer support to a young person who appears to be in emotional distress, according to a press release from the alliance.

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These adults can be parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, first responders, law enforcement personnel, health and human services workers, peers, neighbors or other caring citizens.

Although one in five Americans has a mental illness, people of all ages are reluctant to seek help due to fear of stigmas or because they may not know where to turn for care, according to the press release.

Unlike physical conditions, symptoms of mental health and substance use problems can be difficult to detect, and for friends and family members it can be hard to know when and how to step in. As a result, those in need of mental health services often do not get them until it is too late, according to the press release.

Just as cardiopulmonary resuscitation training empowers those without clinical training to assist an individual who is having a heart attack, mental health first aid prepares participants to confidently interact with a person who is experiencing a mental health crisis, according to the press release.

Mental health first-aiders learn a five-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

During the past 10 years, mental health first aid has become a full-blown movement in the United States. More than one million people are certified mental health first-aiders and that number is growing every day, according to the press release.

The Aug. 13 presentation will be the eighth mental health first aid training session sponsored or hosted by the Howell Alliance. To date, more than 90 community members and professionals have been certified through Howell Alliance-sponsored training sessions, according to the press release.

To register for the Aug. 13 training session, visit Eventbrite at Participants will need to bring their own food and drinks. A free water cooler and a cash only snack vending machine are on location.

For event information, contact Howell Alliance coordinator Christa Riddle by email at or call 732-938-4500, ext. 4012.

For more information about mental health or youth mental health first aid training sessions, contact Marni Elson-Victor by email at

To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit

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