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Pleasantville's Rosenthal JCC Holds Mental Health First Aid Certification

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PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- The Rosenthal JCC will host an eight-hour certification course with instruction provided by Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) certified mental health instructors on Wednesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 20 , from 9:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

The Rosenthal JCC is at 600 Bear Ridge Road, Pleasantville.

This objective of this program is train anyone who works with adolescents, ages 12 – 18, on how recognize a teen experiencing mental health emotional distress or crises and the appropriate steps to handle the challenge.

Although there is a presence of mental health professionals in schools, for many providers the reality is that there are too many teens whose problems don’t get identified until it is too late.

“We want people to be able to recognize what’s normative behavior, and be able to recognize behavior that is not –- students who are despondent over a break-up, a substance abuse issue, about family issues, or anxiety over academic pressures at school," said Sherry Birnbaum, director of Jewish programming at WJCS. “It’s about recognizing the issue and being able to sit with the kid until help arrives.” Participants take part in this nationally recognized eight-hour certification course after which they receive certification from the program. The course material equips adults with critical knowledge to be able to help kids experiencing a mental health crises or challenge and teaches the unique risk factors and warning signs. It also serves to de-stigmatizes mental health issues so that kids can receive appropriate intervention at the earliest possible time. Participants do not learn to diagnose or how to provide therapy or counseling.  The program is free of charge. To receive additional information, contact Julie Klaber, WJCS Youth Mental Health First Aid Coordinator at 914-761-0600, ext. 116 or email

The program is sponsored by UJA-Federation of NY in Westchester.

Read more about the program at .

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