State law encourages districts to provide professional development for school personnel on youth mental health.
Maine Revised Statutes 20-A 6671. Youth mental health first aid training
A school administrative unit shall establish a youth mental health first aid training program for health educators in secondary schools in the unit pursuant to this section.
1. Recipients of training. A school administrative unit shall schedule training for and ensure training is provided to health educators in secondary schools in the unit responsible for implementing health education pursuant to section 4723. 2. Providers of training. A school administrative unit shall ensure training is delivered by trainers who are properly certified by a national organization for behavioral health to provide training pursuant to subsection 3. 3. Content of training. The training provided pursuant to this section must be in compliance with a course of instruction in youth mental health first aid operated by the national organization for behavioral health under subsection 2 and include training on the skills, resources and knowledge necessary to assist students in crisis to connect with appropriate local mental health care services, training on mental health resources, including the location of local community mental health centers, and training on action plans and protocols for referral to such resources. Recipients of the training must also receive training to:
- A. Safely de-escalate crisis situations;
- B. Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness, including such psychiatric conditions as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major clinical depression and anxiety disorders; and
- C. Timely refer students to mental health services in the early stages of their development of mental disorders to avoid subsequent behavioral health care and to enhance the effectiveness of mental health services.
4. Available funding. A school administrative unit is required to meet the requirements of this section only if it has received funding specifically for this purpose from federal funding, private funding or other funding sources.