Photo of instructor at front of classroom and 15 people sitting at tables focused on instructor. Blue bar at bottom of photo with logo overlays of El Paso County Public Health and El Paso County Department of Parks & Community Services

September 12, 2023 – El Paso County Nature Centers hosted a Youth Mental Health First Aid class in partnership with El Paso County Public Health on September 8, 2023, at Bear Creek Nature Center. Twenty-seven individuals participated in the class, providing the opportunity to receive Youth Mental Health First Aid certification through the National Council for Mental Well-being.

Many of El Paso County’s community partners attended the class, including the City of Colorado Springs Parks & Recreation Department, City of Manitou Springs Parks & Recreation Department, Catamount Institute, Generation Wild, Colorado Springs Fire Department, Garden of the Gods staff, and TESSA case managers.

“The youth we see are often already going through a difficult time within their family unit, and often with their mental health as well,” said Miranda Morgan, TESSA Case Manager. “This training has given me the tools to be able to best give them the support they need, and assess their well-being effectively to prevent crises from arising in the future.”

The course was provided at no cost and designed to provide vital skills and knowledge on recognizing and responding to mental health challenges among young people. Participants gained the tools and confidence to assist and support those struggling with their mental well-being.

“This training was helpful in identifying some of the unique challenges with this demographic and more importantly provided community resources which we can use to help assist with mental/behavioral health treatment,” said Kathy Hook, Colorado Springs Fire Department Fire & Life Safety Educator. “Thank you for offering Mental Health First Aid training for professionals in other areas of public service!”

To learn more about youth resilience and similar classes, visit