Date of Award

1-10-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Emily Graybill

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Barger

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the impact of Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) training on participant knowledge and confidence and on youth behavior. YMHFA is a mental health awareness training program that was designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents (age 12-18) who are experiencing mental health concerns. Participants in the study, referred to as “First Aiders” were recruited from a database that included the emails of all participants in a grant funded YMHFA training effort in a state in the Southeastern United States between 2015-2018. First Aiders were sent a follow-up survey measuring their confidence in skills learned from YMHFA, how the skills from the training were being utilized and if trainees reported seeing changes in students. A univariate analysis was conducted from participants’ responses to the follow up survey. Of the 119 First Aiders who responded to the survey, 88.3% of those reported utilizing the skills from the training and 49.6% reported changes in their students. First Aiders reported that they utilized skills from the YMHFA training in various ways, such as to de-escalate a mental health crisis or to refer students to mental health professionals when needed. The First Aiders reported that because of their own use of the YMHFA skills and strategies with students, they believed students were more open to discussing their mental health with the First Aiders. The public health implications of the results will be discussed.

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