Free Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainings to be held in Rock Rapids, Sibley, Spirit Lake and Orange City

Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach, in partnership with Project STOMP, will offer four free Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainings in Northwest Iowa during February and early-March. The training is open to any individuals who work with youth and teens on a daily basis.

Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches adults who work with 12-to-18-year-old youth the skills they need to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health issues, including: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and/or substance abuse problems.

“One in five teens and young adults live with a mental health condition,” said Sue Boettcher, Human Sciences Program Coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Sixty-four percent of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment; and one in four 11th graders in Iowa have had suicidal thoughts in the past year. Unfortunately, the numbers make it clear that these trainings are needed. School staff, pastors, coaches and others who work with youth are all invited to join us.”

The free trainings will be hosted:

  • Feb. 11 - ISU Extension and Outreach Sioux County Office, 400 Central Avenue Northwest, Orange City
  • Feb. 27 - ISU Extension and Outreach Dickinson County Office, 1600 15th Street, Spirit Lake
  • March 2 - Frontier Bank Basement, 301 Main Street, Rock Rapids
  • March 3 - Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 704 Poplar Drive, Sibley

Each training will go from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and due to the hands-on nature of the training, each location is limited to the first 30 registrants. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. To register and guarantee your spot in the free training, visit

“The course focuses on teaching participants how to apply the ALGEE action plan,” Boettcher said. “Assess for risk of suicide or harm. Listen nonjudgmentally. Give reassurance and information. Encourage appropriate professional help and encourage self-help and other support strategies.”

To learn more, visit or contact Sue at 712-336-3488 or

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