Recap by Alicia Zhang, age 13
On Monday, April 17, 2017, the Central Library hosted a Youth Mental Health First Aid workshop, taught by Dr. Geoff Milam.. It was more of an introduction to mental health first aid—not to be used as a replacement for the eight-hour youth mental health first aid program—but informational and insightful nonetheless. We played some true or false trivia which covered the basic facts and statistics about mental health conditions. The trivia set the scene for what was to come. It gave a simple overview of the topic to get us into the mood so we could delve deeper and discuss more intimately about specifics. Dr. Milam displayed a slideshow presentation and carried us through more particular mental health conditions, like Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Psychosis, and more, educating us about common symptoms and how we could help. At the end, he put up a written example scenario of a girl going through possible mental health struggles and asked us to brainstorm ideas on how we would assist and support her.
Overall, I found this workshop captivating and helpful. Although a licensed professional (and not a teenaged girl) needs to diagnose mental health conditions, I now know more than the basic “Depression is terrible sadness” and that some common stereotypes, such as Bipolar Disorder being a mood difference between happy and sad, are only misconceptions. Dr. Milam was thorough yet concise with his explanations and I left feeling well informed about mental health conditions and what to do in a mental health emergency, wishing to learn and inquire more about this topic.
-Alicia, age 13
For more information about Mental Health, you can check out the still growing mental health resource center located in Teen Central at Pasadena Central Library, or look online at resources at http://cityofpasadena.libguides.com/webteen or https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/.