Youth Mental Health First Aide & Suicide Prevention

  1. Youth Mental Health First Aide & Suicide Prevention

What is Youth Mental Health First Aid? 

Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) teaches parents and family members, school personnel, health and human services professionals, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addiction-related challenge or crisis. Participants in a YMHFA training learn how to identify the signs of symptoms of challenges and crises and how to spot patterns of behavior, thoughts, feelings, and appearance. In addition, participants learn how to activate the Mental Health First Aid action plan (ALGEE), learn about suicide prevention, and making referrals. The focus of YMHFA training is on savings lives through awareness, harm reduction, and suicide prevention.

What Is Suicide Prevention?

Suicide prevention is achieved through QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer). Just as trained people save thousands of lives every year with CPR, QPR is a method to save lives by preventing suicide. The Youth Mental Health First Aid program provides Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper training, which teaches 3 simple steps to give someone renewed hope when they are contemplating suicide. We all have a responsibility to help prevent suicide! 

Our Role in YMHFA & Suicide Prevention Trainings

The Center of Innovation provides virtual and in-person training options pertaining to Youth Mental Health First Aid and suicide prevention. Trainings are facilitated by certified instructors Enas Khaleq, MA and Bob Brazell.

YMHFA is perfect for parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens who want learn how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or who is in crisis.


  • New Mexico had the highest rate of suicide among all U.S. states in 2020
  • Two out of five (40%) of high school students feel sad or hopeless
  • One out of six (17%) of youth aged 12-17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year

“Odds are, you know a teen with a mental health diagnosis or substance use disorder. Knowing how to identify the signs of a mental health or substance use challenge or crisis puts you in a unique position to help a teen – and possibly save their life”

Benefits of Being Trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid:

    • Increased mental health literacy
    • Increased confidence/self-efficacy and likelihood to help a young person in distress
    • Reduced stigma and increased empathy/acceptance toward youth with mental health challenges

    (Findings from YMHFA Studies conducted in the United States)

    YMHFA & Suicide Prevention Trainings Offered by the Center of Innovation

     Click on a training title below to learn more and to register

    Youth Mental Health First Aid

    Trainer: Enas Khaleq, YMHFA Certified Instructor

    Social Work CEUs: 5.75 CEUs

    Training Description: The YMHFA course focuses on recognizing the patterns of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and appearance that show there might be a problem rather than focusing on specific illness. Learners are taught the MHFA Action Plan (ALGEE) that they can apply to non-crisis and crisis scenarios.

    Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Training

    Trainer: Enas Khaleq, Certified QPR Instructor and Bob Brazell, Certified QPR Instructor

    Social Work CEUs:  2 CEUs

    Training Description: Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Gatekeeper Training teaches three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide by offering hope to those contemplating suicide.

    YMHFA & Suicide Prevention Resources

    Click on a resource link below to learn more

    Subscribe to our mailing list to get notified of additional training opportunities related to Youth Mental Health First Aid and Suicide Prevention. 

    Upcoming Public Trainings