CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Born This Way Foundation was founded in 2012 by Lady Gaga and her mother. The goal is to create a braver and kinder world by supporting the mental and emotional wellness of young people.
The foundation has teamed up with the National Council for Behavioral Health to bring a teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) pilot program to select high schools in the nation.
Canyon High is one of 35 schools selected for this program. The school will train more than 300 sophomore students, this year. The training is the first of its kind developed for high school students in the U.S.
tMHFA is an in-person training designed for high school students to learn about mental illnesses and addictions, particularly how to identify and respond to a developing mental health or substance use problem among their peers. Similar to CPR, students learn a 5-step action plan to help their friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis, such as suicide.
The course specifically highlights the important step of involving a responsible and trusted adult. To ensure additional support for students taking the training, Canyon High School has also trained all school staff in Youth Mental Health First Aid for Adults Working with Young People.
tMHFA is an evidence-based training program from Australia. The National Council adapted the training with support from Born This Way Foundation and Well Being Trust. The pilot program is being evaluated by researchers from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health to assess its effectiveness. The training will be made available to the public following analysis of the pilot study.