What is Youth Aware of Mental Health?

YAM sessions

How Will My Students Benefit from the YAM Program?

The YAM program stands out among youth suicide prevention programs based on its strong research foundation of research evidence. The Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study was a multicenter, cluster-randomized controlled trial that studied YAM and two other intervention. The SEYLE sample consisted of 11,110 adolescent pupils, median age 15 years (IQR 14-15), recruited from 168 schools in ten European Union countries. At the 12-month follow-up, YAM was associated with a significant reduction of incident suicide attempts and severe suicidal ideation compared with the control group. Other recent studies on YAM have shown the effectiveness and sustainability of YAM in Montana.

  1. MSU: Feasibility and Acceptability of Youth Aware of Mental Health
  2. MSU Extension: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Fidelity: Extension Agents teaching Youth Aware of Mental Health
  3. Columbia University Study: Improving Suicide Prevention Through Evidence-Based Strategies

What are the Risks? 

In previous studies of YAM, no major risks were posed to the youth participants. If a student were to have a problem while participating in YAM, our certified instructors and assistants are trained to respond appropriately.  Instructors will work with school counseling personnel or administration to ensure the students’ needs are meet when participating in the program.

 YAM in Montana

YAM Map Locations

Since 2016, over 11,000 Montana students have participated in YAM.  Over these last 5 years, we have been able to develop three different ways to offer YAM in schools. 

  1. In the MSU Model, the certified YAM Instructor and Assistant are employees of MSU who will come to your school to teach YAM.
  2. In the Extension Model, the certified YAM Instructor and Assistant are local MSU Extension Agents who will come to your school to teach YAM. 
  3. In the School-Based Model, the certified YAM Instructor and Assistant are district personnel who do not have direct instructional oversight of the participating class. 

Mental Health News in Montana

MSU looks to expand youth mental health program in rural, tribal schools

Montana Governor Steps in to Fund Youth Suicide Prevention Program

Extension Agents Help Montana Teens Focus on Emotional Health

Montana State receives grant to expand statewide youth mental health program


Where Can I Get More Information?

For more information about YAM, please contact Kelley Edwards, YAM Program Manager.

Kelley Edwards: 406-994-1606,  [email protected]

Where Can I Find a List of Resources for Montana?

NAMI Montana has compiled a resource guide for every county: https://namimt.org/montana-county-mental-health-resource-guides/

The Treatment Scout website helps people find effective inpatient and residential care. It can also help you explore other intensive care options for mental health, addiction, etc. Find out more at http://www.treatmentscout.com/


suicide prevention hotline