Did you know that in Clark County, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2013, 18% of students in high school thought about attempting suicide in the past year? An incredibly alarming statistic and one The Community Alliance for Youth is trying to attack head on.
This year our focus is on providing training to both educators and students in the Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) curriculum. This curriculum, a national evidence based training, teaches a simple 5-step action plan when dealing with crisis situations. Through a grant of from the Clark County Mental Health & Recovery Board and a partnership with Jennifer Cox and Rochele Burnette from Eastway Behavioral Center in Dayton, we are providing this training to area high school students, community members, school counselors and teachers. Mrs. Cox and Mrs. Burnette are both experienced professional trainers in the YMHFA curriculum. We would like to highlight below some of the accomplishments, statistics, and facts about these training programs we have been able to offer.
We have offered two conferences for the Youth Mental Health First Aid certification up to this point. The first conference was held on November 19th, 2014 and the second was held on February 16th, 2015. The conference in November was a community-wide training and was attended by 43 community members on the campus of Wittenberg University. In February, we held a training session for select students at the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center (CTC). Both were 8-hour trainings that included mock situations mimicking real life events to allow attendees to engage each situation in a skillful way. The training received rave reviews from attendees with the conferences together averaging a satisfaction rating of 4.84 out of 5, 4.91 out of 5 for trainer satisfaction and an overall conference rating of 4.87.
From this conference came many ideas for attendees about how to implement what was presented in the training into their organizations. Several students at Wittenberg University choose to use YMHFA as an internship and are working with local high schools to bring awareness to, and reduce the stigma of mental health. These projects are currently ongoing and include presentations on mental health and the development of peer mentor groups at the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center and Springfield High School. There are also projects in progress at Tecumseh High School, Wittenberg University, Shawnee High School, and Catholic Central High School. Some of these projects are working with organizations like the Family and Youth Initiative’s DEFY program and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health Illness).
The Community Alliance for Youth harnesses community resources to support programs and services that foster the positive development of all Clark county youth and their families. We hope that you will stay connected with us as we continue to share the ways in which The Community Alliance for Youth is living out its mission on a day-to-day basis.
If you would like to find out more or get involved with the Community Youth Alliance or Youth Mental Health First Aid please contact Chanteal Hall.