BOCES to host free Youth Mental Health First Aid class

Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES will host a free course designed to educate and strengthen the community at large.

Youth Mental Health First Aid — a free, eight-hour public education course — introduces adults to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, breaks down early intervention outcomes and provides solutions to help youth in crisis.

School employees, parents, law enforcement, coaches or anyone who regularly interacts with adolescents can benefit from the course. Participants will learn about common health challenges, risk factors and warning signs of anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders and substance use disorders common among adolescents. Supporting a youth suffering from a common challenge will be applied using a five-step action plan, which includes assessing for risk of suicide or harm; listen nonjudgmentally; give reassurance and information; encourage appropriate professional help; encourage self-help and other support strategies.

Five classes are scheduled to take place at the LoGuidice Educational Center, 9520 Fredonia-Stockton Road, Fredonia on the following days: Oct. 2-3, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day; Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Jan. 27-28, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day; Feb. 27, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and May 18-19, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. Space is limited so register soon by contacting Heidi Richter, 672-4371, ext. 2062, or email hrichter@e2ccb.org.

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