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Coalition Offers Mental Health Training to Parents & Professionals Who Work With Children

50 free training slots available for 8-hour, certificate program
at sites in North Kingstown, Wakefield starting in late September

Adolescent issues such as depression, eating disorders, AD/HD, and substance use don’t just appear full-blown; there are almost always “warning signs”.
That’s why a collaboration of South County schools, the South Kingstown Police Department, Gateway Healthcare, and the Washington County Coalition for Children are offering a free 8-hour training over two days to help people who work with children identify and respond to first needs.
“This free course is ideal for adults who work with young people ages 12-18,” said Coalition Coordinator Susan Orban. “Teachers, coaches, leaders of faith communities, police officers, youth group leaders, parents, and other caring citizens could all benefit.”
Orban explained that Youth Mental Health First Aid “will teach participants the risk factors and warning signs of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorders.”
Youth Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based program coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health.
People who complete the course will be certified as “Youth Mental Health First Aiders”. Certification is valid for three years.

25 openings in each of two locations: Wakefield and North Kingstown
Trainings are limited to the first 25 people to register; they must be able to attend both four-hour sessions.
The North Kingstown session will take place at the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 76 Main Street. The first session is Saturday, September 19; the second session is the following Saturday, September 26. Both are from 8 am to 12:30 pm.
To register for North Kingstown, visit http://tinyurl.com/eventbriteNKingstown.
The Wakefield sessions will be held at the Peace Dale Congregational Church on 261 Columbia Street on Saturday, September 26 and Saturday, October 3. The times are also 8-12:30.
To register for Wakefield, visit http://tinyurl.com/eventbriteWakefield.
Community and educator trainings made possible by federal grants
Hundreds of educators are being trained across South County as well, Orban noted. “Teachers may be the first to notice significant changes in their students’ behavior. We are working with every school district – plus East Greenwich – to ensure that a critical mass in every school is trained.” She estimated that 500 educators and community members will be trained over the three-year period.
The entire effort is made possible through grant funding from the federal Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education) of SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration).
For more information, go to www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org.