The program trains adults to help adolescents going through a mental health crisis.
The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services will offer numerous mental health and addiction training and educational events throughout the year.
During Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the department and DCCCA Oklahoma are offering two Mental Health First Aid training classes.
The Youth Mental Health First Aid training classes are taught to adults 18 years or older to assist adolescents struggling with mental health issues. In 2021, ODMHSAS reported that suicide was the second-leading cause of death for individuals ages 10-24 in Oklahoma, which highlights the need for early intervention and mental health resources for youth in the state.
“By offering Mental Health First Aid training, we are taking steps to address a major crisis among our state’s youth by providing adults with the skills and knowledge needed to help those struggling with mental health challenges,” DCCCA director of Oklahoma community initiatives Lisa Harper said.
The trainers teach Mental Health First Aid participants to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges. They also train them to be nonjudgmental listeners who provide reassurance, support and resources for those experiencing mental health and substance use challenges.
MHFA covers the importance of early intervention, worsening situations and crises. The training’s crisis sections focus on suicide, substance use crisis, psychosis and following a traumatic event. Participants will engage in role-playing exercises, watch videos that illustrate real-life situations and learn how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health challenges.
MHFA is an evidence-based curriculum with required training modules. ODMHSAS and DCCCA are offering in-person, blended and virtual training. For all blended MHFA courses, participants must complete two hours of self-paced prework in the MHFA connect system before attending the training class. Once registration closes for a course, participants will receive an email with login credentials to the MHFA connect system to complete the required prework. The MHFA qualifies for six continuing education units as a nationally recognized course with a three-year certification.
Training classes are open to all Oklahoma residents, including teachers, coaches, youth program managers, youth pastors, parents, managers, human resource professionals, construction field managers, client-facing staff positions, customer service positions, faith leaders and any adult desiring education in ways to help others suffering from mental health issues.
Additionally, ODMHSAS Training Institute provides numerous other mental health and addiction training and educational events throughout the year to partners, professional care providers and the community. ODMHSAS training classes aim for others to take learning and professional development into their own hands by providing easy access to training and quality education on behavioral health and substance use topics.
More information on the courses or for those interested in signing up is available on the Mental Health First Aid Oklahoma website.
An online catalog of instructor-led and on-demand courses and conferences that support increasing awareness, personal development, continuing education and professional growth can be found online at the ODMHSAS training website.