Chatham University to provide free Youth Mental Health First Aid Training through Project SEEKS SES

Posted by Jeremy Tepper on 8/18/2023

Chatham University

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Dr. Christie Lewis and Dr. Krisitin Harty of Chatham University are passionate about Youth Mental Health First Aid Training (YMHFA). Both are certified YMHFA instructors and have facilitated training for the PA Inspired Leadership program for PA Dept of Education training, some local schools, and current and past education students at Chatham University.  Last year, they partnered with CCCS via a Pennsylvania Crime and Delinquency grant to provide YMHFA to community members of CCCS.  Therefore, when the prospect arose to partake as a partner in the SEEKS SES grant, they found an opportune time to be able to share this important training. 


YMHFA is an introductory training to teach parents, family members, caregivers, pre-service teachers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other citizens how to help adolescents experiencing mental health or substance abuse in crisis or non-crisis situations. Youth Mental Health First Aid is crucial because it promotes early intervention, reduces stigma, improves outcomes, prevents suicide, builds resilience, and empowers communities to support the mental health needs of young people. By investing in mental health literacy and providing the necessary tools, a more compassionate and supportive environment for young people can be created. 


Dr. Lewis and Harty intend to provide 15 trainings over the course of the grant period. The training includes two hours of asynchronous pre-work, six-eight hours of synchronous instruction, and one-hour post-work. The curriculum used for the training is through the National Council for Mental Being. In addition, $200 will be provided to participants who complete the training.