DESE Application

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Ready to bring Mental Health First Aid to your school?
DESE Offers Free Mental Health First Aid Training for K-12 Public School Staff and Students

We invite your administrator to complete this application to bring a Mental Health First Aid course to your school. 

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is using federal relief funds to partner with Mental Health First Aid Missouri—operated by Missouri Department of Mental Health and Missouri Institute of Mental Health—to offer no cost Mental Health First Aid trainings to school across the state.

“Students, teachers, and school staff alike are experiencing increased mental health challenges and stressors right now,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Providing training opportunities like these helps create a larger support system for those who need it while also helping reduce the stigma around mental health and asking for help.” 

Schools can play an important role in helping students get help early. School staff can learn to identify the warning signs of an emerging mental health condition and how to connect someone to care. Beyond just our students, teachers and staff need support too. 

Early treatment is effective and can help young people stay in school and on track to achieving their life goals.

Teachers are often focused on taking care of and supporting others, but without prioritizing your wellbeing, those stress levels won’t lift. Your mental health isn’t only important to you—teacher wellness is also linked to stability in schools and student achievement. 

“YMHFA provides vital training for adults who regularly work with school-aged students across our district,” said Robyn Fondren, Coordinator of Counseling Services at Springfield Public Schools. “It’s very important to educate all adults in our system about the signs of mental distress and the steps to intervene as early as possible in the hopes to prevent tragic outcomes.”

“The YMHFA training has equipped our staff with the skills needed to be able to identify early mental health crises in our students, assess the situation, and get the required help,” said Chelsea Boyd, Assistant Principal at Seckman High School in the Fox C-6 School District. “In short, this training saves lives.”

Please help us spread the word by sharing with school personnel and youth-serving organizations, groups, and related communities. We invite you to distribute this guide and its resources to your professional communities via listservs, newsletters, social media, etc. Explore the materials by clicking the link below or visiting the website here.