Mental Health and Wellness

The importance of physical health has been well documented, but youth (and adults) must pay equal attention to their emotional well-being. Depression, suicide, anxiety, and feelings of isolation are rising among young people. YPRC and Prevention First are steadfast in addressing these ever-changing and complex issues.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is a course that teaches participants how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives First Aiders the skills they need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

The Youth Prevention Resource Center provides training in Youth Mental Health First Aid (for adults to assist young people) and Teen Mental Health First Aid (for young people to provide Mental Health First Aid to their peers).

Courses can be held in person or virtually. Depending on the delivery method, the instructor-led portion of Youth MHFA courses runs between 4.5 and 8 hours. Teen MHFA courses are taught in multiple shorter sessions.


QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide.

Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.

QPR can be learned in our Gatekeeper course (virtual or in person) in as little as one hour.

For more information about these training offerings, contact Randyl Wilkins at

Mental Health During the Holidays

The holiday season is, for many, linked to feelings of stress and anxiety. For those with mental illness, the holidays can make their condition worse. Below are links to resources that you may find helpful. 

Five Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health This Holiday Season Mental Health First Aid, from National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Winter Break Survival Guide Tips for Taking Care of Yourself

Seven Ways to Cope with Holiday Stress American Psychiatric Association

Supporting Your Mental Health During the Holiday Season Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Most Difficult Time of The Year: Mental Health During the Holidays National Alliance on Mental Illinois

Help is available by dialing or texting 988

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, help can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by dialing or texting 988 from a smartphone. You can learn more about the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline on their website. Additional Illinois-specific resources can be found at the IDHS Help is Here website


Wellness Wallpapers

The YPRC’s Student Advisory Board created these mobile phone wallpapers as a part of a Mental Health Awareness Month project. Download one (or a few!) and set it as your wallpaper for a reminder to take time to prioritize your mental well-being, or design one of your own and send it to We might feature it on our social media!