This promising practice describes a statewide effort to address the surging youth mental health crisis through the provision of Youth Mental Health First Aid trainings in West Virginia Public Schools. Youth Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based training for adults who work with youth. This interactive training increases participants’ awareness of signs and symptoms of mental health challenges, adolescent development, the prevalence of mental health challenges among youth, and the steps they should take to ensure students with mental health challenges receive timely referral to mental health professionals. This intervention has proven highly effective in rural schools in West Virginia based on survey data and participant testimonials. In this article, we describe our work and offer implications for rural schools.

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