Focus 2018 Pre-conference Institute: Youth Mental Health First Aid

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Presenter: April Carthorn, General Specialist, National Safe Place Network

April Carthorn brings more than 20 years’ experience working with youth in both child welfare and runaway and homeless youth (RHY) programs. As the project manager for Youth OPEN and Project NOW, she assisted at-risk youth to become financially literate, secure caring adult connections, and find forever homes. In the role of Director of Adolescent Services for a member organization, Carthorn supervised various programs that provided a range of services to include three gender specific group homes, the foster care department, and child abuse awareness programming as well as after school enrichment and education training. Carthorn has been a trainer for many years in areas of Trauma-Informed Care, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Youth Development, Case Management and Permanency Planning. Carthorn started working with RHY youth in a Basic Center Program as a student intern and immediately discovered her career purpose: to advocate and promote safety, financial stability, resilience and self-sufficiency for at-risk and homeless youth. As a former staff person of a member agency and having served on the NSPN Board of Directors prior to the merger of Youth and Family Services Network (YFSN) and National Safe Place (NSP), Carthorn understands the essential support needs of organizations and shares excitement to have opportunities to work one-on-one with agencies to fulfill their purpose, mission, and service goals to vulnerable populations.

On a personal note, Carthorn lives in Tennessee and travels whenever she can. When she returns home, she is greeted by Pretty Lady, Honey, and Nugget. In her spare time, she enjoys being with people and engaging in social activities. Carthorn likes listening to comedy and loves all animals except for groundhogs that stalk her when she goes to her car.