9:50 P.M. (MST)
In an effort to highlight the mental health challenges many children and teenagers face, the Regional Center for Border Health held its first of a series of classes at the Yuma County Main Library Friday.
Dubbed the “Youth Mental Health First Aid Program,” more than 30 professionals attended the class, including school nurses, psychologists, detention officers, and special education teachers.
"This is a national program supported by President Obama,” says Edgardo Figueroa, the programs coordinator. “We're just trying to spread awareness about this major health issue."
Those in attendance were instructed on how to recognize youth who are struggling with a mental health issue.
"They told us we aren't going to be diagnosing anybody, but we can recognize the signs and find them the resources to help them within their community," says Maria Cabral, who works with children in Yuma’s first district.
Harmony birdsong is a school psychologist, and says the eight hour course was a great refresher, but also a great reminder, of how important addressing mental health issues are for teens.
“Knowing the signs to look for is essential, especially for teens, because being a teenager can be pretty crazy.”