Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $722,577)
This training project will build the capacity of our schools as “bright spots” that support the safety of all youth from school entry to graduation. Community planning will engage cross-sector partners including law enforcement and will build on the district’s safety plan. Core to the community plan is the identification of evidence informed practices and program. Program staff will provide training on the identified practices and programs to school and community stakeholders. Staff will immediately begin training on the two programs identified during the initial planning– Green Dot and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA). Green Dot is a bystander intervention program that is an evidence-informed practice to increase active-bystander behaviors and reduce violence. Green Dot reduces violence acceptance at school and has been tested in rural communities like ours. School staff, educators, and community partners will be trained as instructors, will train students, and implement it in the school and community. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) addresses gaps in mental health literacy by teaching skills to identify and help individuals experiencing emotional distress. Adults are trained to provide initial assistance to adolescents experiencing a mental health problem. Numerous studies, including those in rural places, have found YMHFA to be effective. School and community leaders will be trained as a YMHFA instructors and will provide YMHFA training for families, and community partners.