Evaluation of Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for Illinois Schools

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Illinois Criminal Justice Authority, Center for Justice Research and Evaluation
Nearly one in six U.S. children have been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, youth mental health has been declared a national emergency. Schools are at the forefront of youth interventions to promote positive mental health and address mental health concerns. One intervention model includes training school personnel on to identify and help students with mental health issues. ICJIA researchers evaluated Youth Mental Health First Aid training offered to school personnel across Illinois (n = 81) with observations and surveys, including pre- and post-tests. The evaluation revealed participants gained mental health knowledge and were satisfied with the training format and content. The training program appeared to meet its goal of teaching school personnel about mental health issues in young people and interventions to address them.