The county Office of Education along with health, probation and behavioral health departments will use $9.3 million in Measure A sales tax funds over the next two years to emphasize prevention and early intervention for youth.
The joint effort will launch its first youth mental health first aid training Oct. 1 using some of the money. The event is a public education program introducing school staff to the unique risk factors and warning signs of youth mental health problems. The training also addresses early intervention and teaches how to help a young person in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.
This first class will include primarily school-based counselors but is designed for any adult member of a school community.
About 20 percent of youth, aged 13 to 18 years old, experience mental health problems in a given year with suicide as the third leading cause of death for youth between the ages of 15 and 24.
The Board of Supervisors allocated the Measure A funds in July. Voters passed the half-cent sales tax last November.