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Teen Mental Health First Aid Pilot Program
Teen Mental Health First Aid Pilot Program
Brad Ritchey
Thursday, October 03, 2019

Milton-Union High School is participating in the expanded teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) pilot program, the first of its kind developed for high school students in the U.S.  Milton-Union is one of 40 sites selected to take part in the second cohort of the pilot program, bring the total sites teaching the program to more than 75.  Committed to heightening and destigmatizing mental health awareness, our school counseling staff members, coupled with assistance from other student services providers in the district, made this pilot program possible. 

The tMHFA program is an in-person training designed for high school students to learn about mental illnesses and addictions and how to identify and respond to a developing mental health or substance use problem among their peers. Students learn a 5-step action plan to help their friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis.  The course specifically highlights the important step of involving a responsible and trusted adult and supports the training that several staff members have already received in Mental Health First Aid for Adults Working with Young People. 

“We’re thrilled Milton-Union is one of the first U.S. high schools to participate in teen Mental Health First Aid,” said Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. “Teens trust their friends, so they need to be trained to recognize signs of mental health or substance use problems in their peers.  The number one thing a teen can do to support a friend dealing with anxiety or depression is to help them seek support from a trusted adult.”

The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying body for this training as well as the voice of America’s health care organizations delivering a variety of mental health and addictions treatment and services nationwide.  Together with 3,325 member organizations serving over 10 million adults, children, and families living with mental illnesses and addictions, the National Council is committed to all Americans having access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery.  The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and 2 million Americans have been trained.  To learn more, visit www.TheNationalCouncil.org and www.MentalHealthFirstAid.org.

Thank you for your continued support of Milton-Union High School and this community.  We are excited to support a path toward greater awareness of mental health issues and increased capacity to respond to the unique needs of our students.