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Fri, May 24


Online Event

Mental Health First Aid Certification for Those that Support System Involved Youth and Their Families

This training with Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT, has a 2-hour self-paced prerequisite that is required to be completed at least 7 days prior to the live training. After completing both, you will be certified a Mental Health First Aider.

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Mental Health First Aid Certification for Those that Support System Involved Youth and Their Families
Mental Health First Aid Certification for Those that Support System Involved Youth and Their Families

Time & Location

May 24, 2024, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM PDT

Online Event

About the Event

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT

Training Description

Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based course developed by the National Council for Mental Wellness that teaches people how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training will give participants skills needed to provide initial support to any system involved youth or their family members who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis and connect them with the professional support they need for recovery and long-term wellness. Participants will be informed through presenter instruction, a slide presentation, and self-reflection. To increase participant engagement and content retention, presenter will also utilize the chat box, reaction emojis, guided participant discussion, and open questions & answers.

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:

· Explain both the PURPOSE of Mental Health First Aid and the ROLE of the Mental Health First Aider.

· Identify at least 1 IMPACT of mental health challenges on the well-being of system involved youth and families and explain how RECOVERY from a mental health challenge is possible.​

· Identify at least 2 SIGNS of mental health challenges that may impact system involved youth and/or their family members.


9:00-9:35am Welcome to Mental Health First Aid (35 min)

● Introductions, 5 min

● Segment Introduction: Welcome to Mental Health First Aid, 2 min

● Review Course Agenda and Course Objectives, 3 min

● Participant Icebreaker, 15 min

● Tasks and Materials Check-in, 4 min

● Learning Agreement, 5 min

● Parking Lot, 1 min

9:35-10:00am MHFA Introduction Recap (25 min)

● Segment Introduction: MHFA Self-paced Introduction Recap, 1 min

● Recap Activity: Part 1, 5 min

● Recap Activity: Part 2, 5 min

● Recap Activity: Part 3, 15 min

10:00-11:00am ALGEE: Mental Health First Aid Action Plan (60 min)

● Segment Introduction: ALGEE: Mental Health First Aid Action Plan, 1 min

● Mental Health First Aid Action Plan, 3 min

● A: Assess, 3 min

● A: Approach and Assist, 10 min

● L: Listening Non Judgmentally, 10 min

● G: Giving Reassurance and Information, 15 min

● E1: Encourage Appropriate Professional Help, 8 min

● E2: Encourage Other Support Strategies, 8 min

● Knowledge Check, 2 min

11:00-11:15am BREAK (CE hours will not be offered for this time) (15 min)

11:15am-12:00pm MHFA for Early Signs (45 min)

● Check in & Clarifying Questions, 8 min

● Segment Introduction: MHFA for Early Signs, 2 min

● Importance of Early Intervention, 3 min

● Recognizing Early Signs, 4 min

● Video: “Boxing,” Part 1, 8 min

● Scenario 1, 15 min

● Knowledge Check, 5 min

12:00-12:45pm MHFA for Worsening Signs (45 min)

● Segment Introduction: MHFA for Worsening Signs, 5 min

● Delaying Treatment Worsens Outcomes, 5 min

● Recognizing Worsening Signs, 5 min

● Video: “Boxing,” Part 2, 10 min

● Scenario 2, 15 min

● Knowledge Check, 5 min

12:45-1:15pm LUNCH (CE hours will not be offered for this time)

1:15-2:45pm MHFA for Crisis Situations, Part 1 (90 min)

SEGMENT 6: MHFA for Crisis Situations

● Segment Introduction: MHFA for Crisis Situations, 2 min

● What is a Crisis?, 2 min

● Crisis Situations: Safety, Your Role, De-escalation Strategies, 5 min

● Types of Crisis Situations, 3 min

● Panic Attacks, Video: “The New Job,” 10 min

● Aggressive Behaviors, 4 min

● Traumatic Events, 7 min

● Non Suicidal Self-injury, 4 min

● Medical Emergencies, 3 min

● Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors, Video: “Shining a Light,” 40 min

● Debrief, 10 min

2:45-3:00pm BREAK (CE hours will not be offered for this time) (15 min)

3:00-4:00pm MHFA for Crisis Situations, Part 2 (60 min)

● Substance Use Crisis, 5 min

● Severe Psychotic States, Video: “Neighbors,” 33 min

● Check in, 2 min

● Scenario 3: Crisis Signs and Symptoms, 15 min

● Knowledge Check, 5 min

4:00-4:20pm Bolstering the Mental Health First Aider (20 min)

● Segment Introduction: Bolstering for the Mental Health First Aider, 5 min

● Privacy, 2 min

● Practice Protecting Personal Information, 6 min

● Bolstering for Mental Health First Aider Action Plan: Revisit, 5 min

● Knowledge Check, 2 min

4:20-5:00pm DEBRIEF & CLOSING (40 min)

● Clarifying Questions, 10 min

● Reflection, 10 min

● Congratulations and Call to Action, 10 min

Wrap-up, 10 min

Meet Our Trainer

Wendy Kessler, MSW, FT is a Grief Specialist. She is credentialed as a Fellow in Thanatology (the study of death, dying, and bereavement) by the Association of Death Education and Counseling, as well as a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Wendy worked as hospice Bereavement Specialist from 2017-2022 – offering grief care to patients’ loved ones, hospice staff, and community partners. Through hospice work she recognized a gap in grief education for helping professionals, and a need for better understanding and support for grievers. As a result, she left corporate hospice care and launched Grief Guide Consulting, LLC in 2022. Her private practice grief services include individual counseling, support group facilitation, group education, and consulting. She believes that grief is not a problem to be fixed. It is a journey that we can learn to navigate, and when the path is unfamiliar or uncertain it can help to have a guide. You can learn more about Wendy or contact her at her website:

This course meets the qualifications for (7.0) BBS CE hours for LCSWs, LMFTs, LPCCs, and LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences & is provided by Fred Finch Youth Center, CAMFT Provider #045295.

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