Things are progressing at the National Council for Behavioral Health, and Mental Health First Aid will be announcing some exciting new programs, later in 2020. This is exciting stuff!
The first exciting thing is that the testing of the new Teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA), a teen peer support program designed to give students some information and skills to help their friends who may be suffering from mental health issues, is in its completion stages, and I think they will be rolling out the new program within a year or so. This is exciting, because teens are more likely to talk with their friends than an adult, so we can identify and get these kids help much earlier than before. Early intervention is key to successful outcomes, so this is great news!
We also have gotten word that there will probably be a choice of an alternative course format for Mental Health First Aid in the future! The new format will require that participants do several hours of coursework on their own before coming to class. Then, at class, we support the information with addition information and exercises to support ALGEE. This will enable us to cut down the time for class to about half a day, instead of the whole day class. Since it will take some time to train instructors, but word is that this is a result of so many people asking for a shorter class.
Finally, a new early childhood version of Youth Mental Health First Aid is rumored to be on its way out of testing, very soon. You asked for YMHFA for younger kids than adolescents for those of you who need information for younger children. The National Council is always listening, and they value your comments and suggestions in course evaluations! Thanks to you, we will be able to help more and more people get the help they need and save even more lives.