Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency

Why is Teen MHFA essential learning for our high school students?

Why is Teen MHFA essential learning for our high school students?

  • 1 in 5 teens has a serious mental health disorder at some point in their lives.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds.
  • Research shows early intervention to a mental health challenge leads to more positive outcomes.

We currently have seven Prairie Lakes AEA schools with Teen MHFA trainers.  Additional schools have committed to beginning Fall 2021.  Training dates are still available for summer 2021 so it is not too late to commit to offering Teen MHFA to your high school students during the 2021-2022 school year.  Many schools are using ESSER funds or CARES Act funds to cover the costs of training an adult in your district to offer Teen MHFA.

Below are details for each of the six sessions in the training.

Session 1 covers mental health in general and explains what mental health challenges are and how common these are in teens. 

Session 2 reviews the impact of mental health challenges on teens, how people with mental health challenges can get better and professionals who can help.

Session 3  focuses on helping a friend who is in crisis because they are suicidal.  Teens will learn the Teen MHFA Action Plan (see the graphic below) for the first time and how it can be used in a crisis situation.  

Session 4 talks about helping a friend who is in other types of crisis and practices using the tMHFA action plan in those situations.

Session 5 focuses on how to help a friend who may be in crisis due to substance use then takes a step back to discuss how to help if someone might be developing a mental health challenge.  This course does NOT teach teens to diagnose but how to be a supportive friend.

Session 6 highlights recovery and resiliency and final activities to complete the course. 

For more information, contact Kim Bodholdt, MHFA Coordinator at or view this flyer about Teen MHFA.




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