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 National Council for Mental Wellbeing is excited to offer tMHFA to 50 high schools and/or youth-serving organizations in New Jersey at no cost, through funding provided by the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF) through the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ).
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
The application for funding will go live on July 26, 2021. It will be due by August 20, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET.
This funding will provide 50 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:
For the latest developments and a notification when the application is live, subscribe to our email list below:
To learn more, join us for an information session:
Visit this webpage on July 26, 2021, when the application for funding goes live.
Deadline: August 20, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. ET
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 50 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, as determined by mental health and health key indicators recommended by NJPRF.
Please email NJteenMHFA@TheNationalCouncil.org if you have any questions.