Clara Martin Center To Host Youth Mental Health Training

Communities / Jun. 1, 2017 6:55am EDT

The Clara Martin Center will host a Youth Mental Health First Aid training for approximately 60 staff from the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains at Camp Farnsworth, on June 22 in Thetford.

This training is part of the statewide AWARE Vermont campaign to provide community members with the necessary skills to help a young person experiencing a mental health challenge, mental disorder, or a mental health crisis. Participants of the training include international staff who have traveled to Vermont through a program called Camp Leaders, which provides cultural exchange opportunities at American summer camps.

Through collaborative efforts with trainers across the state, the training will teach participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance abuse disorders.

Five-Step Plan

Participants do not learn to diagnose or provide any therapy or counseling—rather, they learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step action plan:

•Assess for risk of suicide or harm.

•Listen non-judgmentally.

•Give reassurance and information.

•Encourage appropriate professional help.

•Encourage self-help and other supports.

Linda Chambers, executive director at Clara Martin Center, noted that “This training is an opportunity to reach beyond traditional settings, educating community members and professionals working with youth to increase mental health awareness, support early identification and to develop an understanding on how to access care.

“Becoming aware of mental health challenges early in life can lead to earlier interventions and treatment, which can help youth more quickly manage these needs as they move forward into their adult lives,” she added. “The services focus on developing positive relationships, gaining access to employment, and ultimately creating healthier lifestyles as they grow into adulthood.”

The AWARE Vermont initiative is a collaboration between Vermont Care Partners, state designated agencies, identified youth services community partners, and the Vermont Cooperative for Practice Improvement and Innovation.

AWARE Vermont is made possible by a grant from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and provides free YMHFA trainings across the state.

To learn more, or register to attend an upcoming training, contact Jenny Beaudin at 728-4466 ext. 258, or

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