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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


Volunteers train on mental health

Ohio 4-H volunteers across the state will meet online this month to learn more about youth mental health. As part of Ohio 4-H Mental Health Month, the Volunteer Mental Health Training Series is being held over four weeks. The trainings are being facilitated by Amanda Raines, 4-H educator, and Jami Dellifield, FCS educator, the co-authors of the Your Thoughts Matter project book.

The series includes four stand-alone sessions that will help volunteers better understand what youth may be experiencing and how to help them. Session topics include: 

  • Mental Health 101, an overview of mental health and the prevalence of mental health issues in youth.
  • Typical Adolescent Development vs. Emerging Mental Health Problems, during which participants will learn the difference between a “teenage problem” and a mental health problem.Your Thoughts Matter Navigating Mental Health with rainbow graphic of head from side profile
  • Trauma-Informed Approaches Training, an introduction to trauma, how it impacts youth brain development, and how to make 4-H spaces safe and welcoming for trauma survivors.
  • Suicide and Nonsuicidal Self-Injury Training, during which participants will learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of suicide, and will connect youth and their families to professional care and resources.

“The results of the National 4-H Council Harris Poll on teen mental health show that our youth need adults to be more prepared to talk about mental health issues and provide assistance,” said facilitator Raines. “By learning how to recognize signs and symptoms and be aware of how to approach trauma and mental health issues, Ohio 4-H volunteers can create a safer and more inclusive environment for our members.”