Librarians Trained to Support Teen Mental Health


June 18, 2021
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) has partnered with Walker Cares to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid  to library staff.  “Frontline library staff work with teens, many of whom have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and a year of social distancing.” said Lyndsay Forbes, Project Manager and Grants Specialist at the MBLC. “This program has equipped librarians to form part of a support network for teens as they process their experiences and begin post-pandemic life.”

Youth Mental Health First Aid helps adults who work with youth to recognize, support, and refer youth who may be experiencing mental health challenges or may be in crisis, for professional mental health services. It gives individuals who work with youth the skills they need to provide initial support to adolescents (ages 12-18) and help connect them to the appropriate care. The trainings cover signs and symptoms of mental illness in this age group including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and signs of substance abuse.

The MBLC and Walker Cares offered 10 sessions with two set aside exclusively for school librarians. First round sessions were filled within 24 hours. “I highly recommend this program for other school librarians - we are in an excellent position to provide mental health first aid to our students who need it,” said one librarian.

 The trainings are one of the many ways the MBLC is using federal CARES Act funding to support local libraries and communities. The MBLC has used CARES Act funds for remote learning, school eContent, and statewide eContent. Learn more about how the MBLC is using CARES Act and LSTA funding in Massachusetts on the LSTA/CARES MBLC website

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.