MOUNT DESERT — The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a rise in mental health and substance use issues, especially among youth, leaving many adults asking how to better support the young people in their community. Starting in January, Camp Beech Cliff will offer youth mental health first aid trainings to adults in Hancock County free of charge.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid program from the National Council of Mental Wellbeing is designed to teach adults how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among children and adolescents and connect them with appropriate care.
National Council of Mental Wellbeing President and CEO Chuck Ingoglia said, “The mark of the COVID-19 pandemic has gone beyond physical health. It has negatively affected children and adolescents during a crucial time for social and emotional development. We must provide parents, teachers, and community leaders with access to key mental health and substance use information and resources to improve wellbeing among young people…Without mental health, there is no health.”
The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development and teaches a five-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and noncrisis situations.
Camp Beech Cliff will offer free trainings at different times and in different formats. Each training includes roughly two hours of self-paced online work and is limited to 30 people. Registration is required. More information and course registration can be found online at www.campbeechcliff.org.
These trainings are offered free of charge through the support of a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation, First National Bank, Healthy Acadia, the Stroud Fund and Camp Beech Cliff.