Health Department Seeks Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructors

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For Immediate Release
Date: August 12, 2022
Contact: Emily Young
(847) 377-8226


Health Department Seeks Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructors

Waukegan, Ill. — The Lake County Health Department is seeking passionate people to become Youth Mental Health First Aid USA instructors and help fight the stigma surrounding mental health. Approved applicants must attend the 3-day instructor training held November 2-November 4, 2022 at the Lake County Health Department, 3010 Grand Avenue, Waukegan.

"In the United States, approximately half the people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services,” said Dominic Caputa, Associate Director of Behavioral Health. “We need people representing every facet of our community to be trained in Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid so they can help those who are experiencing a mental health crisis.”

Approved instructors learn how to teach the Youth Mental Health First Aid course, including the five-step action plan, evidence-supported treatment, and self-help strategies. Instructor training normally costs $2,000 per person but is being offered for free to qualified applicants. In exchange, individuals who take the course agree to teach a minimum of three Youth Mental Health First Aid classes in the year following the training to Lake County Health Department approved groups.

To learn more and apply, visit or email Applications are due August 31, 2022.

To be considered for certification, candidates must possess empathy towards individuals with behavioral health challenges and should have enthusiasm to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Applicants should also have:

  • Empathy towards individuals with behavioral health challenges
  • Enthusiasm for reducing stigma associated with mental illness
  • A general knowledge of mental health and substance use issues
  • Experience teaching adults and facilitating groups
  • Understanding of best practices in adult learning

In 2021, the Health Department received a five year grant extension from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help expand and improve Lake County’s Mental Health First Aid training initiatives. Through the grant, the Health Department is training 80 individuals to become instructors. In turn, those individuals will train 1.440 community members.

About the Lake County Health Department: The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center is a county health department, a federally qualified health center (FQHC) and a direct provider of behavioral health services to residents of Lake County, Illinois. The Health Department’s mission is promoting the health and well-being of all who live, work, and play in Lake County. To accomplish this mission, the Health Department works closely with community partners to address the social, economic, and environmental causes of health inequity. For more information, visit

About Mental Health First Aid USA: Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8-hour training to teach participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it helps trainees identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

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Lake County Health Department
3010 Grand Avenue
Waukegan, Illinois 60085
(847) 377-8000