What is Youth Mental Health First Aid?
Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.
Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.
About the Facilitators:
Rachel Tomczek has 21 years of experience working with children and young adults ages 0-18, is a registered nurse, certificated school nurse, Certified Naturalist, and has a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies. Her vast experience ranges from working in Hematology/Oncology, Intensive Care (pediatric, neonatal, cardiac), and post-surgical care as a pediatric nurse, mentoring, and teaching with non-profit organizations for science and outdoor/naturalist studies, and working with pre-teens, teens, young adults, and families to support a vast range of needs as a school nurse. Throughout her career, she has been an ardent advocate for supporting families in accessing services for food security, safety, transportation, language support, and mental health needs. As a school nurse, Rachel has created numerous supports for middle school students to help improve mental health/wellbeing access during the school day. Mental health and wellbeing are a passion area for Rachel and she has worked to continue learning in areas of ACEs, Trauma-Informed Care, Resilience, and is in process of becoming a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Rachel loves teaching and supporting staff, students, and the families she cares for and is looking forward to teaching YMHFA courses.
M’Liss Moon has been a contributor to physical and mental health in her community for over 20 years. Her degree in Psychology and passion for what contributes to mental and physical health led her to a career as a Massage Therapist and most recently promoting awareness and education on ACE’s, trauma informed practices and building community resilience. As Youth Resilience and Community Resources Coordinator at Empower Youth Network, M’Liss works on a team to weave together a network of support systems and resources for people living in Snoqualmie Valley. She is a passionate advocate, volunteering her time in city government and PTA to bring awareness to social determinants of health. M’Liss is thrilled to be on the path of becoming a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor and helping people discover the contribution they can make for youth in their community by bringing awareness and support to mental well-being.