Group offering free training to identify mental health warning signs in youth

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --  Hamilton Center, Inc. is taking mental health head-on when it comes to addressing the problem among Indiana youth.  They're training adults through its Youth Mental Health First Aid class, and the statewide program is coming to central Indiana.

It's an uncomfortable topic many people avoid or may not want to open up about. But this startling statistic says it's time to start talking openly about mental health: suicide is the second leading cause of death for Hoosiers ages 15-24.

"Every person that goes through this becomes an advocate, a supporter and at the end of the day may have an opportunity to save a life," Hamilton Center, Inc. Consumer Representative Specialist Warren English-Malone said.

The eight hour evidence-based training will prepare adults to recognize signs and symptoms of a youth experiencing a mental crisis.

"It's putting tools inside that tool belt which will allow you to respond in the most appropriate manner in hopes to be able to link that person, that young child, that adolescent into the services," English-Malone said.

The team at Stop The Violence Indianapolis is ready to respond. The group will host a training for their volunteers and community members on September 14 in partnership with Interfaith for Cooperation.

"And we can see there's something that has not been tapped into from a understanding perspective of the trauma they have gone through and being able to identify it," Stop The Violence Indianapolis Program and Volunteer Director Beatrice Beverly said.

Stop The Violence Indianapolis serves youth ages 5 to 25 with a focus on prevention, intervention, retention and recovery. Beverly says the topic of mental health has been scary for far too long and she's ready to tackle the tough topic.

"I believe this training will open up a lot of doors, it will open a lot of doors. Not only for our youth, but for our families so we can initiate the conversation and remove the stigma that's attached to mental health and know that it is ok, it is ok," Beverly said.

The training is free thanks to a grant from Project Aware. This is for all adults. For more information and to register for the class click here.