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Youth Counseling

Youth Mental Health

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See how our youth mental health first aid program can support you and the young people who work with you.

What's the impact? 

Mental health issues are increasing in the UK, and referrals to specialist services have nearly doubled between 2010 and 2015.

Organisations who support young people are under increasing pressure to help young people resulting in 20% of young people with mental ill-health waiting more than six months to receive care from a specialist ​

Delays in intervention can lead to escalating ill-mental health, resulting in crisis if untreated. In an evidence review in 2016, The Centre for Mental Health estimates that, on average, it takes a child ten years between first becoming unwell and getting help.

Understanding what causes mental ill-health and the signs can support supporters and guide young people towards support sooner.

Image by Bailey Zindel

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid training is the only evidenced-based course of its kind. Early intervention and prevention significantly improve recovery rates and health outcomes. MHFA England's training package was developed in 2000 and honed over two decades using proven techniques tested by clinical youth practitioners and young people with lived experience of mental health conditions.

Our two-day courses increase awareness and confidence, enabling conversations that guide people to seek effective help sooner. Although there is still a demand to respond to more complex situations that impact our mental health with interventions such as counselling, MHFA training can prevent a crisis from occurring, guide a young person to support sooner and provide skills to maintain wellbeing.

About the course

Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA®) courses are for everyone who works with, lives with or supports young people aged 8-18. They will teach you the skills and confidence to spot the signs of mental health issues in a young person, offer first aid and guide them towards the support they need. Doing so can speed up a young person's recovery and stop a mental health issue from worsening.

Our courses won't teach you to be a therapist, but we will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis - and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

This two day course trains you as a Youth Mental Health First Aider (MHFAider®), giving you:

  • An in-depth understanding of young people's mental health and what affect wellbeing.

  • Practical skills to spot the triggers and signs of mental health issues.

  • Confidence to reassure and support a young person in distress.

  • Enhanced interpersonal skills such as non-judgemental listening.

  • Knowledge to help a young person recover their health by guiding them to further support – whether that's through self-help sites, their place of learning, the NHS, or a mix – engaging with parents, carers and external agencies where appropriate.

  • Ability to support a young person with a mental health issue or disability to thrive.

  • Tools to look after your own mental wellbeing. ​

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Everyone who completes the course gets:

  • A digital certificate of attendance to say you are a Youth MHFAider®.

  • A YouthMHFAider® manual to refer to whenever you need it.

  • A workbook including some helpful tools to support your own mental health.

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