N.Y. (WETM) — New York State is offering free, online youth mental health training courses to adults who regularly interact with young people.

Youth Mental Health First Aid training is open to parents, caregivers, teachers, healthcare providers, and others who regularly interact with young people. These training courses are designed to help adults recognize and assist youths from the ages of 12 to 18 who are experiencing mental health or substance abuse crises. The courses will teach participants how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health and substance abuse challenges that children and adolescents face and how to best help them.

Registration for these courses is required. Because these are certification courses and not webinars, attendance is required. Each course has space for 30 people, and the spaces are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The School Mental Health Resource Training Center is asking people to only register if they are able to attend and to let the school know immediately if they can no longer attend. Participants should also read and respond to emails related to this training in a timely matter to ensure all pre-work is completed before the courses.

The courses are being held throughout July, August, and September, and the next course will be held on July 19. Each course will last for a total of six hours, but for most of these sessions, that time will be split across two consecutive days.

Youth Mental Health First Aid courses are sponsored by the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS). Both this year and last year, OMH provided MHANYS with $1 million to fund this training.

For more information about Youth Mental Health First Aid or to register for a course, visit this webpage.