The Ellensburg School District is offering a Youth Mental Health First Aid training session from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 16 at Hal Holmes Community Center, according to a notice posted on the district’s Facebook page.

The training is for people who work with youth ages 12-18.

The eight-hour class is designed to teach members of the public how to respond in a mental health emergency and offer support to someone who appears to be in distress.

The goals include:

n Preserving life when a person may be in danger to self/others.

n Preventing the problem from becoming more serious.

n Promoting and enhancing recovery.

n Providing comfort and support.

n Building an understanding of the importance of early intervention.

Education will be provided on the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders including aniexty, ADHD, depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, intentional self-injury, trauma, psychosis and disruptive behavior disorders.

The results of the Healthy Youth Survey administered in Kittitas County schools last year, highlighted some mental health issues.

According the survey:

n 63% of 10th graders report feeling anxious or nervous the past two weeks.

n 56% of 10th graders report unable to stop or control worrying the past two week.

n 36% of 10th graders have reported feeling sad or hopeless in the past two weeks — the diagnostic criteria for potential depression.

n 24% report having suicidal ideation at some point with the past month. Fuller said this is a 10% increase from the last survey — the survey is taken every two years.

The mental health first aid course is sponsored by the district in association with Comprehensive Mental Health and the city of Ellensburg.

Contact Kali Davenport at 925-8182 or Kali.davenport@esd401.org to register.

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