Tag Archives: youth mental health first aid

K-Pop Artist’s Death by Suicide Sparks Conversation About Mental Health

kim-jonghyun-memorial

A portrait of Kim Jong-Hyun on a mourning altar at a hospital in Seoul on December 19, 2017.

Millions of fans mourn the tragic loss of K-Pop star, Kim Jong-Hyun, better known as Jonghyun, who died by suicide on Monday at the age of 27. Jonghyun was best known as the lead singer of K-Pop band, SHINee which rose to fame after the release of its debut EP, Replay, in 2008. As well as being a singer and accomplished dancer, Jonghyun played a large part in the group’s song writing and production.  He had also made headlines for speaking out on issues of the government’s education policy and in support of LGBTQ+ rights.

Jonghyun was considered one of the most talented and well- rounded artists in the K-Pop music industry. According to SM Entertainment, the singer’s management company, “Jonghyun is the best artist who loved music more than anyone else, enjoyed the stage, and loved to communicate with fans through his music. We will always remember you.”

Suicide continues to be a prevalent public health issue primarily due to the constant stigmatization of mental health. A petition on change.org was created in honor of Jonghyun asking for more mental health support for artists in the entertainment industry. The petition explicitly asks for all entertainment industries to make a plan or program to monitor mental health in their employees as well as ensuring that the program would not be used against them and harm their careers. This petition, once reaching its goal of 300,000 signatures is expected to be delivered to Entertainment Industries and the South Korean Government.

Hopefully this petition will increase conversations about mental health and suicide prevention as well as recognition of its importance in saving a life.

Read more

How Knowing the Signs Can Help Save a Life

IMG_1864

Natalie Andrade with ALGEE the MHFA mascot

Before I started working at the Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE), I did not have a clue as to what the warning signs of suicide, depression, and anxiety were. It wasn’t until I became a Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) instructor that I realized the importance of knowing the signs of mental health challenges. During my instructor training, taught by two amazing trainers from the National Council, I felt empowered to go back to my community and teach others important skills one can learn from the training. Knowing the signs of suicide can help save a life, yet the most challenging piece of knowing the signs is having the courage to start the conversation about suicide with someone you are concerned about.

In the YMHFA training, participants practice using a 5-step action plan called ALGEE, which stands for:

 

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Read more

Happy World Mental Health Day!

Untitled

Today, October 10th, is World Mental Health Day, and in commemoration of this year’s theme “Mental Health in the Workplace”, Mental Health First Aid USA provides some thought provoking statistics about how “good health is good for business, and good health includes mental health”.  

According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, 1 in 5 American adults have a mental illness and 1 in 10 full time employees have an addiction.  Even more concerning is that 35% of managers feel they receive no formal support or resources to help employees. This highly correlates with work performance as mental health in the workplace is known to impact productivity, engagement, and quality of work. High-performing teams also rely on inclusion, respect, and skillful communication which fall under the umbrella of good mental health.

Read more

Learn How to Save a Life: Become a Youth Mental Health First Aider!

YMHFASMCOE12-6-1712-7-17-page-001

Youth Mental Health First Aid is being offered on Wednesday, December 6 and Thursday, December 7 at the San Mateo County Office of Education. Sign up today! Class limit is 30 people.

Learn how to recognize the unique warning signs and risk factors of a mental health challenge and how to offer support that can make a real difference in a young person’s life! Educate and empower yourself to help bridge the gap between an adolescent experiencing a mental health crisis and getting appropriate professional help.

Read more

The Importance of Providing Youth Mental Health First Aid in Spanish to Half Moon Bay Residents

9-23-17 Group PhotoMoonridge Apartments are a secluded apartment complex surrounded by rolling hills in an unincorporated area of San Mateo County, where its residents are predominantly Latinx and monolingual. Providing YMHFA for this community challenged the stigma often associated with mental health and connected residents to resources and supports provided in their area, including what to do if someone is having a mental health crisis or emergency. Supervising Mental Health Clinician Hector Moncada from Coastside Clinic attended the training to answer any questions and provided information on services offered by the clinic and in the community.

Read more

Continuing the Conversation on Mental Health with School Resource Officers

9-14-17 3When a young person is in immediate crisis, School Resource Officers (SROs) are often called to assess the young person and determine if the youth needs hospitalization. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) takes this process a step further by building empathy and understanding through listening non-judgmentally and giving reassurance and information, two steps from the YMHFA Action Plan, to the youth in crisis. Following protocols is essential, yet can be a difficult process for a young person who may be experiencing a mental health emergency. The hope in training School Resource Officers in YMHFA is to minimize the impact hospitalization may cause for a young student by building relationships, connections, and providing support.

Read more

Why Don’t Teachers Get Training On Mental Health Issues

Earlier this month, I represented ODE at the first annual Pacifica Family Summit at Ingrid B. Lacey Middle School. The day featured workshops led by youth as well as adults on topics such as peer mentoring, meaningful youth engagement, substance use, and digital storytelling. It was a great start of a longer conversation among students, families, teachers, and school staff about mental health.

On one youth-led panel I attended on coping with stress, anxiety and special needs, a member of the school’s staff said that teachers and coaches often serve on the front line of mental health disorders: “Your child might not open up to you, but she’ll open up to me.” Which made me wonder, why don’t teachers receive more training on mental health issues, especially among adolescents?

An article on KQED News asks the same question. Author Katrina Schwartz notes that teachers have a lot of balls to juggle: “content standards, the social and emotional needs of students, behavior, and often trauma.” Citing an article originally published in The Atlantic, Schwartz also notes that more and more schools are using such evidence-based mental health programs as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Trauma-Sensitive Schools. But without basic mental health training, “it is easy to confuse the symptoms of a mental health disorder with run-of-the-mill misbehavior.”

The Office of Diversity and Equity (ODE) offers a free, interactive course for schools in San Mateo County called Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). This training is geared towards adults who work with youth, including classroom teachers, school site administrators, school office personnel, coaches, bus drivers, afterschool providers, teacher’s aides, school health aides, yard duty staff, crossing guards, parents, faith community members, and the general community. The course empowers adults to identify and respond to a young person (aged 12-24) who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis/challenge or emotional distress. With YMHFA’s 5-step Action Plan, school personnel will be better equipped to identify signs, symptoms, and risk factors for mental health challenges that commonly affect our young people. Mental health literacy creates a safer, supportive, and inclusive school community by reducing stigma and increasing access to and knowledge about appropriate mental health services. YMHFA has made me a better listener and has encouraged me to bring more awareness to the stigma of mental health in our communities.  To date, San Mateo County has trained 1,538 individuals in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

To learn more about the program or to become a YMHFAider, contact Natalie Andrade at nandrade@smcgov.org or 650-372-8548. If you prefer to watch a video about our MHFA program, click here.

Co-authors: Hillary Chu and Natalie Andrade

« Older Entries