BGCA Native Services is pleased to announce that the first Mental Health First Aid Training for Boys & Girls Clubs in Indian Country (BGCIC) has been a huge success. To date we have conducted two of the five scheduled trainings this year with an ambitious goal to certify 100% of our Native organizations. See below for a video message from Indian Health Service Director Michael Weahkee on this unique and powerful partnership.

Mental Health First Aid Training

BGCA Native Services is pleased to announce that through our partnership with the Indian Health Service, all participants at each of our five Native Learning Events will leave certified in Mental Health First Aid!

Mental Health First Aid gives our valued Club staff the skills to help and support someone who is experiencing a mental health problem or a mental health crisis. Trainees are taught how to apply the 5-step action plan in a variety of situations, such as helping someone through a panic attack, engaging with someone who may be suicidal, or assisting an individual who has overdosed. There is no cost for the trainee, and each training session involves a concise presentation of the topic with ample opportunities for case discussion and consultation.


  • Identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses & substance use disorders.
  • Identify risk factors and warning signs for mental health and addiction concerns.
  • Perform strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations.
  • Identify where to turn for help to assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis.
  • Implement/Discuss case examples of use of The Mental Health First Aid Action Plan a variety of situations, including when someone is experiencing: Panic attacks, Suicidal thoughts or behaviors, Non-suicidal self-injury, acute psychosis (e.g., hallucinations or delusions), Overdose or withdrawal from alcohol or drug use, Reaction to a traumatic event.
  • Define and identify the differences between recovery and resiliency.
  • Distinguish between facts and myths of mental health, illnesses, and disorders.

Mental Health First Aid Training

As the focus on childhood mental health continues to gain attention, trauma-informed responses from trusted adults become more and more important. BGCA Native Services recognizes that a trained and prepared staff is a direct and evidence-based approach to ensure youth are getting everything they need to be successful. Through the dedication to partnerships with organizations such as IHS, BGCA Native Services is continuing to uphold the holistic needs of Native youth across the country.