Mental Health First Aid

McGehee High School will train more than 100 students next spring in the awareness of mental health problems.

McGehee High School is one of 35 schools selected by the National Council for Behavioral Health, with support from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, to participate in the country’s expanded teen Mental Health First Aid pilot program in January 2020.

The school, in partnership with the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, will train more than 100 students next spring. The training is the first of its kind developed for high school students in the U.S.

“We are thrilled to introduce teen Mental Health First Aid to our community,” said Heather Perry, project director and teen Mental Health First Aid instructor at Arkansas Rural Health Partnership. “The program will teach high school students to recognize and respond when their friends are experiencing the early stages of a mental health or addiction problem.”

Teen Mental Health First Aid is an in-person training designed for high school students to learn about mental illnesses and addictions, particularly how to identify and respond to a developing mental health or substance use problem among their peers. Similar to CPR, students learn a 5-step action plan to help their friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis, such as suicide.

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