Skip to main menu Skip to content

Bring teen Mental Health First Aid to New Jersey

Thank you for your interest in bringing teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) to your community in New Jersey!

Today’s teens are living in a world shaped by multiple ongoing crises, most of which continue to be exacerbated by COVID-19 and its repercussions. Young people have struggled this past year and continue to face many real stressors. Through tMHFA, our goal is to validate their experiences and provide actionable steps to better support themselves and each other.

tMHFA is a training program developed by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in partnership with Born This Way Foundation. It teaches teens in grades 10-12 about common mental health and substance use challenges and crises, and how they can help their friends who are struggling, whether that means offering a shoulder to lean on or bringing in outside help. tMHFA empowers teens to speak up, take action and get help when it’s needed from a trusted adult.

At this time, the application for this opportunity is closed.

 

teen Mental Health First Aid

tMHFA is an evidence-based training program for teens in grades 10-12, or ages 15-18. It teaches teens how to identify, understand and respond to signs and symptoms of mental health and substance use challenges among friends and peers. Teens gain the skills to have supportive conversations with their friends and learn how to get the help of a responsible and trusted adult as necessary.

The program was brought to the United States in 2019 by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in partnership with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation. Since 2019, thousands of teens across the country have been trained in tMHFA, including in New Jersey:

“The tMHFA training has helped me identify warning signs of mental health illnesses in my family, friends and peers. With the step-by-step guidance, I feel confident providing appropriate assistance to someone developing a mental illness or experiencing a mental health crisis. This training has encouraged me to take action and handle difficult situations with compassion.”
— Shreeya Kamal, teen First Aider, Maple Shade High School
“It was a great privilege for Maple Shade High School to pilot the tMHFA curriculum. The program provided our students with powerful and essential tools for recognizing mental health challenges and helping friends who are struggling with mental health or substance abuse. This should be a required curriculum for all adolescents navigating their way through an ever more complex and connected world.”
— Matthew La Grou, Principal, Maple Shade High School
“Maple Shade School District was incredibly fortunate to be chosen as a tMHFA pilot site. The program exceeded our expectations and was a perfect complement to the Youth MHFA curriculum. The class sessions were well received based on feedback from school staff, input from teachers, and engagement and interaction with students during the lessons. The quality of the materials and the inclusiveness of examples and vignettes allowed students to connect with the concepts and relate to experiences described by the teens in the program.”
— Dana Rahmel, School Social Worker, Maple Shade School District tMHFA instructor

Grant Details

The application for this opportunity is closed.

This will provide selected schools and/or youth-serving organizations with teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) trainings. Through tMHFA, schools and organizations will increase their capacity to effectively respond to teen mental health needs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic in a culturally responsive and trauma-informed way. The program will also increase the mental health literacy of the educators and young people trained.

Each grantee (school or organization) will receive:

  • tMHFA Instructor Training for two qualified adults. The mandatory tMHFA Instructor training is a 3-day virtual training that certifies candidates to teach the in-person delivery model of tMHFA.
  • Materials for in-person training for teens.
  • Pre- and post-tests to distribute to teens before and after trainings.
  • Mental Health First Aid for Adults Assisting Youth (YMHFA) training for up to 20 adults per school or organization. Schools or organizations should seek to have approximately 10% of staff at the site trained in YMHFA. This will increase the capacity of staff members to adequately address any mental health and substance use challenges among teens. The National Council will assist schools or organizations in meeting this goal.
  • Consultation and technical assistance to help each school or organization implement tMHFA throughout the year with fidelity.
  • A virtual, professional learning community for the certified tMHFA Instructors and their implementing teams. This opportunity will provide Instructors and their teams with a space for peer-to-peer support. It will also support them in creating safe and supportive learning environments by exploring content such as trauma-informed classroom strategies, culturally responsive teaching and best practices for affirming the identities of diverse adolescents. The learning community will run from October 2021–June 2022.
  • A stipend for participating in the learning community.
  • Access to mental health resources.
  • Peer-to-peer sharing and collaboration.

Timeline:

  • This is a two-year initiative that will run from June 2021 through September 2023. The selected sites will be asked to commit to Year 1 of the project. After Year 1, sites will be given the opportunity to apply for a second year and join a smaller cohort of 25 sites.
  • tMHFA Instructor trainings will be held October 2021 through December 2021.
  • Schools and organizations will be able to begin training teens in Winter 2021, after tMHFA Instructors are certified and sites have created implementation plans.

Learn More

For the latest developments about this opportunity, subscribe to our email list below:

To learn more, check out materials from our information sessions below:

How to Apply

The application for this opportunity is closed.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a school or youth-serving organization in New Jersey.
  • Must be able to implement tMHFA for teens in grades 10-12, or ages 15-18. At this time, grade 9 and post-secondary students are not permitted.
  • Must be able to meet the criteria of implementing tMHFA with fidelity:
    • If teaching at a school, the course should be taught to an entire grade level of students (not individual classes) in the school. If teaching at a youth-serving organization or program, the course should be taught to an entire group of students at the youth-serving organization or program.
    • Schools or organizations should seek to have approximately 10% of staff at the site trained in YMHFA. This will increase the capacity of staff members to adequately address any mental health and substance use challenges among teens. The National Council will assist schools or organizations in meeting this goal. Funding will be provided to help cover the cost of the training for schools or organizations that do not currently meet this requirement.
    • The school or organization offering the training must have a safety protocol in place to ensure student safety, including how to respond to a teen who’s in distress and indicates they would like to be seen.
    • The course should be taught in classes of approximately five to 30 teens on non-consecutive days. The program should not be taught in large, assembly-style sessions.

Review Process:

A committee consisting of individuals affiliated with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and Born This Way Foundation will review all proposals and select schools or organizations to participate. Schools and organizations will be notified of their acceptance the week of September 20, 2021, and will be invited to a virtual orientation session to review the tMHFA implementation process for this New Jersey initiative.

Preference will be given to schools and organizations that can implement the program with fidelity. Preference will also be given to schools and organizations serving young adult communities in higher-need areas.

Have a Question?

Please email NJteenMHFA@TheNationalCouncil.org with any additional questions.

Search for courses