There are lots of reports about the mental health effects of the pandemic on young people, and according to the Wisconsin Rural Opioid and Simulant Engagement (WIROSE) Project of the UW Madison, 3 in 4 Wisconsin high schoolers report that they do not receive the help they need when they are distressed.  In addition, 59.4% report depression, anxiety, self-harm, or suicidal ideation in the past 12 months. This means that for sure, kids we know, kids on our communities, and kids using the library are struggling.

Mental Health First Aid is kind of like first-responder training.  It doesn’t mean that people who take it will be able to solve persistent mental health problems.  It does mean that those who are trained will feel better prepared to assist people they encounter who are experiencing a mental health crisis or challenge.  Several years ago I took a session geared towards helping adults, but there are also Youth Mental Health First Aid courses.  Now, WIROSE is offering a chance to take virtual Mental Health First Aid (both Adult and Youth).  It will consist of a 2-hour self-paced online class, followed by a full-day instructor-led Zoom meeting.  Cost is free (except your time), and space is limited.

If this is an interest of yours, please check out the Mental Health First Aid offerings!