February 28, 2022

The Mental Health First Aid Certification was developed by the National Council for Behavioral Health (which is now known as the National Council for Mental Wellbeing). Feiger participated in the training to certify professionals who work with youth in mental health first aid, ensuring they can better recognize and respond to any person who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

After she was certified, Feiger had a thought. “Is this something that our teenagers need?” she asked herself. “Should we train teens in how to help their friends?”

The teen training had been done in other communities, but Feiger started it in the Denver area, working with another certified trainer, Beth Lipschutz, MSW, the Youth Mental Health First Aid Project Coordinator for the Jewish Teen Education and Engagement Funder Collaborative powered by JFNA. They were joined by a third certified trainer, Carly Coons, LSW, Director of Mental Wellness and Special Programming at Temple Sinai.

Feiger promoted the inaugural program through IST, Jewish Student Connection, and temple confirmation classes. She enrolled a group of 11 teens from high schools around the Denver metro area. All were either sophomores or juniors and were required to attend three sessions over a period of four weeks.

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