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Youth Mental Health First Aid: Presented in Memory of Dr. Rusty Spieler

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 addiction challenge or is in crisis.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults at least 18 years old, 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.

The course requires advanced registration. Participants must register two weeks in advance and complete two hours of self-paced training at least three days prior to the course date. A link for the pre-course work will be emailed a week and a half before the course date.

The 5-hour portion of the course is a small group interactive training. Participants will join via Zoom and should be prepared to be present and actively engaged for the whole course.

Rusty Spieler, M.D., was a physician you wanted on call if an emergency took you to the hospital. Dr. Spieler was amazing at practicing love and compassion towards others. However, he was not very good at practicing loving-kindness towards himself. On July 8, 2020, all of a sudden, he was gone. He died from complications of his long struggle with mental health. Dr. Spieler’s family has expressed the need to talk openly about mental health, as easily as one would talk about arthritis or diabetes, to extinguish the shame of asking for help. Therefore, in memory of Dr. Rusty Spieler, we present Mental Health First Aid.