Classes, trainings, and talks


Mental Health First Aid

Mental health first aid logoMental Health First Aid is an 8-hour, evidence-based course that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems; builds understanding of their impact and provides an overview of appropriate supports. Participants learn how to offer initial help in a mental health crisis and connect people to the appropriate professional, peer, social and self-help care.

Those who practice mental health first aid do not diagnose or provide any counseling or therapy. Instead, the program offers people concrete tools and answers key questions such as “What do I do?” and “Where can someone find help?”

The program also teaches common risk factors and warning signs of specific illnesses such as anxiety, depression, substance use, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people, such as parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other community providers.

The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations.

Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, and disruptive disorders (including attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder).

These trainings are free, but space is limited. Snacks are included. All trainings are held at the Health District, 120 Bristlecone Drive, Fort Collins, unless otherwise noted. or more information or to reserve a spot, contact Emily Leetham at 970-530-2883 or

Upcoming trainings:

  • Thurs., Feb. 6 (youth-focused), 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


teen male with concerned momParent Dinner and Education Speaking Series taught by the CAYAC psychiatric team

  • Childhood Irritability (Is this normal?)
    with Dr. Aaron Meng
    Wed., Feb. 12, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
  • Bipolar Disorder in Children
    with Dr. Joseph Gottfried
    Wed., Feb. 19, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
  • The Risks and Benefits of Medicating Children
    with Dr. Usha Udupa
    Wed., Feb. 26, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

All classes are held at the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, 4745 Wheaton Drive. Participants can choose to attend individual classes or the entire series. Dinner is provided. There is no cost, but registration is required. Register with Ana Pasini at or 970-530-2842.

Suicide prevention training

Connections offers free suicide-prevention training. This hour-long program is held monthly at the Health District offices, 120 Bristlecone Drive, Fort Collins.

Called QPR Training, the suicide-prevention training teaches participants how to question people about suicide, persuade them to accept professional help, and refer them to community resources. Key subjects covered include:

  • How to get help for yourself or learn more about preventing suicide
  • The common causes of suicidal behavior
  • The warning signs of suicide
  • How to get help for someone in crisis

Upcoming trainings:

  • Wed., March 11, 12 - 1 p.m.

There is no cost, but registration is required. For questions or more information, please contact Ana Pasini at or 970-530-2842. Light snacks will be provided. Feel free to bring a sack lunch.


sad toddler on teddy bearWorkshops for Parents taught by CAYAC staff

  • Anxiety in Children
    Sat., March 7, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • ADHD in Children
    Sat., April 4, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Both workshops are held at the CAYAC office, 425 W. Mulberry, Suite 112, Fort Collins. Attend one or both. Lunch provided. No childcare is available. RSVP to Ana Pasini at or 970-530-2842.