Youth Mental Health First Aid Training Goes Virtual

Parents, Teachers, Others Encouraged to Participate in Upcoming Class

Santa Barbara County, CA (November 3, 2020) –Already, over 850 county residents have become certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid. The popular course that teaches participants how to support youth struggling with a mental health or substance abuse problem is now available online. Parents, teachers, and others in Santa Barbara County who work with youth ages 12-18 are encouraged to “be the difference” for local youth by participating in a free, upcoming training. November 10 is the last chance to take a class this year. To register, visit or call (805) 884-8440.   

Just as CPR teaches community members to help when a person is having a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training gives people the tools to identify when a young person might be struggling with a mental health or substance use problem. Mental Health First Aiders learn a 5-step action plan that guides them through the process of reaching out and offering appropriate support.

“We know that youth are impacted by school closures and social distancing guidelines, and they may not be forthcoming about any difficulties they are experiencing,” says Lisa Brabo, Executive Director for Family Service Agency. “Through this program, we hope equip adults with the tools to start conversations about any mental health and substance use problems experienced by our local youth.”

Family Service Agency, Mental Wellness Center, and the Youthwell Coalition have joined forces to provide Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings for residents of Santa Barbara County. Classes are provided at no cost through funding of a three-year federal grant. Twenty additional classes are being scheduled in 2021. For more information, visit   


About Mental Health First Aid

The National Council for Behavioral Health was instrumental in bringing Mental Health First Aid to the USA and more than 1 million individuals have been trained. To learn more about Mental Health First Aid USA, visit

Family Service Agency of Santa Barbara County (FSA) is a nonprofit social service agency that has served the people of Santa Barbara County since 1899. Operating as Santa Maria Valley Youth and Family Center (SMVYFC) in Santa Maria and Little House By The Park (LHP) in Guadalupe, FSA helps the community’s most vulnerable children, families, and seniors meet their basic needs while simultaneously addressing mental health needs. Through this holistic approach, FSA improves the strength and well-being of our community. All services are provided free or on a sliding fee/donation scale and no one is denied assistance because of an inability to pay. Visit or call (805) 965-1001 for more information.

The Mental Wellness Center (MWC) is the non-profit organization that recognizes mental illness is a community matter affecting us all. Providing education and support, MWC is dedicated to meeting the immediate and future needs of our Youth, Adults, Families, and the greater Community. Visit for more information.


YouthWell Coalition is focused on improving prevention, education, and early intervention outreach in Santa Barbara County, in order to connect youth, ages 12-25, and their families to mental health supports before the crisis. Youthwell is committed to mobilizing community stakeholders, service providers, schools, and caregivers, in order to create a coordinated and comprehensive care response system. Visit for more information.


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