CAY Conducts YMHFA Training

Did you know that in Clark County, according to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey in 2013, 18% of students in high school thought about attempting suicide in the past year? That is an incredibly alarming statistic and one that The Community Alliance for Youth has been trying to attack head on.

This past year our focus has been on providing training to both educators and students in the Youth Mental Health First Aid curriculum. This curriculum is a national evidence-based training that teaches a simple 5-step action plan when dealing with crisis situations. For this training we recently received a grant of $3,000 from the Clark County Mental Health & Recovery Board to provide this training to two different school districts by June 30th, 2015. The Community Alliance will also partner with 5 county high schools (Springfield High, Catholic Central, Tecumseh, Shawnee, and Springfield CTC) to promote youth led mental health awareness initiatives. Along with this we have been very fortunate to have partnered with Jennifer Cox and Rochele Burnette from Eastway Behavioral Healthcare. Mrs. Cox and Mrs. Burnette are both experienced professional trainers in the YMHFA curriculum. We would like to highlight below some of the accomplishments, statistics, and facts about these training programs we have been able to offer.


We have offered two conferences for the Youth Mental Health First Aid certification up to this point. The first conference was held on November 19th, 2014 and the second was held on February 16th, 2015. The conference in November was a community-wide training and was attended by 43 community members on the campus of Wittenberg University. In February, we held a training session for students from partner schools in the Springfield CTC administrative board room. Both were 8 hour trainings that included mock situations that mimicked real life events that allowed attenders to engage each situation in a skillful way. This training also got rave reviews from attendants with the conferences together averaging a content satisfaction rating of 4.84 out of 5. They also averaged 4.91 out of 5 for trainer satisfaction and an overall conference rating of 4.87.

YMHFA Projects

Out of this conference came many ideas for attendees about how to implement what was presented in the training into their organizations. For students at Wittenberg University they were required to start a project in a local school relating to the training. These projects are currently ongoing and include presentations on mental health and the development of peer mentor groups at the Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center and Springfield High School. There are also projects in progress at Tecumseh High School, Wittenberg University, Shawnee High School, and Catholic Central High School. Some of these projects are working with organizations like the Family and Youth Initiative’s DEFY program and NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health Illness).

The Community Alliance for Youth harnesses community resources to support programs and services that foster the positive development of all Clark county youth and their families. We hope that you will stay connected with us as we continue to share the ways in which The Community Alliance for Youth is living out its mission on a day to day basis.