On Saturday, January 26, over twenty individuals from the University and the surrounding community received training to address issues of mental health in youth students from USA Mental Health and First Aid. This day of training was led by Eric Smith ’01/G’03, supervisor of clinical services at Lakeside School.
This internationally recognized training introduces participants to common mental health issues experienced by today’s youth including anxiety, depression, substance use, disruptive behavior disorders like ADHD, and eating disorders. The attendees of this day-long training learned about these mental health challenges in relation to typical adolescent development and were equipped with a five-step action plan to address the needs of youth in crisis and non-crisis situations.
USA Mental Health and First Aid conducts seminars like these to teach people how to “identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness and substance abuse disorders.” Because of this organization and their over 12,000 instructors, over 1 million people across the nation have been trained in Mental Health First Aid.
Dr. Matt McAlack, Cairn’s director of the Youth and Family Ministry program and organizer of this event, believes that this training is “vitally important for our students—both now and in their future—as they face what many are calling a Mental Health crisis among members of Generation Z.”
Cairn University continually looks forward to hosting events and providing opportunities for University students, parents, addiction ministry leaders, and local youth pastors to be well-equipped in ministry to today’s youth.