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8-hour training designed to provide members of the public with skills to assist an adolescent experiencing a mental health challenge

Fredericksburg, Virginia – The Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) is pleased to now provide Youth Mental Health First Aid Training to local organizations and members of the public. Youth Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. Participants will be better able to help an adolescent (age 12 – 18) who is experiencing a mental health or substance abuse challenge. The training is appropriate for parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, and coaches.

RACSB Executive Director Ron Branscome shares, “The community response to the adult Mental Health First Aid training which RACSB began providing earlier this year has been wonderful. We’re glad to add the youth curriculum that will benefit education professionals, family members, and others who interact with adolescents. Through the training, participants will be able to help connect the adolescent experiencing a mental health challenge with local resources like counseling or support groups.”

The course utilizes role-playing and simulations to help participants’ better gain skills to offer initial assistance in a mental health crisis and how to effectively connect adolescents to appropriate community resources. Participants will learn the common mental health challenges for youth, typical adolescent development, and a five-step action plan for how to help young people both in crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices includes Mental Health First Aid training.

The 8-hour training will be provided over two (2) days. There is a registration fee of $25.00 which includes a workbook and lunch the first day of the training. Trainings are limited to 20 participants and are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Trainings will be held on the following dates (times and locations may vary): June 26 – 27; July 24 – 25; August 14 – 15; September 11 – 12; October 9 – 10; and November 6 – 7. To register for the training, please contact Jennifer Bateman, Prevention Specialist, at 540-374-3337 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit for additional information and a training flyer.

Mental Health First Aid originated in 2001 in Australia under the direction of founders Betty Kitchener and Tony Jorm. To date, it has been replicated in twenty other countries worldwide, including Hong Kong, Scotland, England, Canada, Finland, and Singapore. Mental Health First Aid USA is coordinated by the National Council for Behavioral Health, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. To learn more, please visit

Founded in 1970, the Rappahannock Area Community Services Board (RACSB) provides public mental health, intellectual disability, substance abuse, and prevention/early intervention services to the residents of the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford. RACSB operates five outpatient clinics which provide individual, group and family therapy; specialized counseling and case management services; psychological assessment; 24-hour crisis intervention; and medication management services. RACSB operates 11 group homes for adults with intellectual disability providing 24-hour intensive and structured support as well as the Myers Drive Respite Group Home. RACSB also offers mental health day support, residential services, and crisis stabilization at The Sunshine Lady House for Mental Health Wellness & Recovery. The Parent-Education – Infant Development Program provides developmental, physical, occupational, and speech therapies as well as service coordination to infants and toddlers with developmental delays. Programs of RACSB include Kenmore Club, Rappahannock Adult Activities, Inc., Project LINK, Program for Teen Parents, Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block, DARE To Be You – Rappahannock Area, Second Step, Too Good for Drugs, and Healthy Families – Rappahannock Area. To learn more, visit



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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches Visits the Past


If Pouches' experience at History Camp is any indication, your son or daughter will enjoy joining Washington Heritage Museums and the George Washington Foundation for History Camp in Fredericksburg. The week-long day camp will be held June 25-29, from 9:00 a.m. to noon each day.

Young historians discover American history with hands-on experiences as they walk in the footsteps where the history of Fredericksburg, and a budding America, was created. The camp complements the history taught in classrooms with activities such as soap making, code breaking, colonial crafts, penmanship and much more.