Adolescent mental health education program expands to more schools through grant

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) – New funding is helping teenagers learn how to deal with mental health issues within themselves and their peers.

This is a program through PreventEd Adolescent mental health first aid. The training teaches them how to identify these concerns within their peers and also know when to go to a trusted adult.

Seckman Middle School is one of several schools across the region to use PreventEd’s adolescent mental health first aid training.

Assistant Principal Chelsea Boyd says it’s a skill students have been asking for.

“To date, we’ve saved at least 13 people that we know of through this program,” Boyd said.

At Seckman Boyd Middle School, every teenager goes through this training.

“They have a lot of responsibility in their junior year,” says Boyd. “They’re driving. They’re taking high-stakes tests like the ACT. They’re looking at college life and post-secondary education, so it was almost like a perfect storm. Everything is pushed into them for a year, so we wanted to give them the tools to be able to help each other.”

Mental Health First Aid equips these adolescents to provide initial help and support.

AvertedIts goal is to prevent and reduce the harm associated with drug use.

Community Education Coordinator Stacey Zellin says there is a strong connection between drug use and mental health, so it’s important to educate people about mental health.

Zellin says, “What we’re teaching teenagers is basically a framework for looking for warning signs, how to ask someone how they’re doing, and then how to listen non-judgmentally to that person, and then actually connect them with a trusted adult. need to connect”. “We’re not asking teenagers to solve their friends’ problems or act as therapists.”

Ladue High School student Emily Young is one of the students who underwent the training.

Young says Asian Americans often don’t talk about mental health.

But through this program, Young hopes to change that.

“We felt it was important that Asian youth, as well as parents, understand what mental health is and why it’s important,” Yang said. “I think it’s great to know because it covers so many aspects of your daily life.”

The $250,000 grant will be spread over four years and will allow the program to expand and help more students.

“We couldn’t do this program without the grant,” says Boyd. “Our district, like most districts today, could not afford it. With funding, we can make it happen over the next few years.”

Seckman High School also trained every staff member in mental health first aid certification.

Find out more about the PreventEd program here Here.

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