Healthy Minds. Healing Hearts.
Peaceful Communities.​

The Bridge Receives Grant to Provide Youth Mental Health First Aid

To The Bridge Staff and Board of Trustees,

I am happy to announce that we received funding from the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Teen Mental Health First Aid Initiative, to train two Imani leadership staff, Beverly Canady and Leanna Waller, to be Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructors.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

For the Imani Center and the teens we serve, the Teen Mental Health First Aid will be a vital tool in preventing mental health crisis and reducing stigma around mental health issues. Friends usually are the first to know when a crisis is brewing. By equipping our teens with the tools of Teen Mental Health First Aid, we will be helping the teens to help each other, and understand when a friend needs more than just a good friend. The program will reinforce that the Imani Center is a safe place for teens to get help before there is a crisis that requires hospitalization

Over the last year, The Imani Center launched the “Our Voices Matter Campaign,” helping teens express their concerns and advocate for themselves and their peers though a weekly podcast. The Teen Mental Health First Aid program will compliment Our Voices Matter by giving teens another set of tools to help one another. The program also will be a way for teens to engage with other teens who have dropped out, helping them address their concerns around school and aiding them in finding a pathway back.

I want to thank our grant writer Janice Alderman for successfully negotiating this grants, and also Beverly Canady and Leanna Waller for their leadership.

Louis A Schwarcz, MA
Chief Executive Officer
The Bridge, Inc.

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