Maine: Lawmakers may override veto of a "youth mental health first aide course" for teachers

May 2, 2018, Kennebec (ME) Journal & Morning Sentinel: Our View: Training teachers in mental health will benefit students—The Legislature should override the governor's veto of a bill to address student mental illness That’s why we support L.D. 1866, which would increase the number of people in schools trained in youth mental health first aid. The bill passed the Maine House and Senate, but was vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage. Legislators should override that veto when they return to the State House Wednesday. Youth mental health first aid is an eight-hour course where educators learn the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges, such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, substance use disorder and eating disorders. They learn how to recognize and assess these illnesses, and point students toward the right interventions. It is in part a suicide prevention tool. Maine has a higher than the national average, both for 10- to 24-year-olds and overall. In a 2015 survey, 15 percent of Maine high school students said they had seriously considered suicide within the past year; 16 percent of middle-schoolers had considered it at some point.