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Outreach & Prevention Services

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Prevention Programs

At Meridian, we strongly encourage parental involvement as an essential part of improving the well-being and behavior of children. Evidence-based substance use prevention programs are designed to be delivered prior to the onset of high-risk behavior.

These programs are intended to reduce the risk of developing behavioral health problems, such as underage alcohol consumption or the abuse of drugs, legal or illegal.

Meridian offers these programs at no cost to students and families. 

Botvin Life Skills Training

Botvin Life Skills Training (LST) is an evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program that is uniquely designed to be flexible and interactive. Meridian’s prevention team can work with elementary, middle, high school, and young adult populations. The program varies in length based on age, with a minimum recommended class sequence of 8 sessions. While one year of LST has been proven to achieve measurable positive effects, multi-year implementation is strongly recommended. The LST program has been extensively tested and proven effective at reducing tobacco, alcohol, opioid, and illicit drug use by as much as 80%. Long-term follow-up studies also show that it produces prevention effects that are durable and long-lasting.

Mental Health First Aid

Similar to First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for medical emergencies, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trains participants to identify and respond to potential mental health challenges or substance use disorders until appropriate professional help can arrive. Meridian currently has a grant to provide this course at no cost to attendees. To register for a course, email  Learn more about the MHFA program.

About MHFA

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trains participants to identify and respond with a 5-step action plan to potential mental illness or substance use disorders until appropriate professional help can arrive.


Youth MHFA is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. It is primarily designed for adult participants who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including ADHD), and eating disorders.


Adult MHFA is appropriate for anyone 18 years and older who wants to learn how to help a person who may be experiencing a mental health related crisis or problem. Available in both English and Spanish, course participants come from a variety of backgrounds and play various roles in their community. Instructors may specialize in providing the course to groups such as police officers or faith leaders. Look for icons on instructor profiles for public safety, rural, higher education and faith. Topics covered include: Emotional Problems, Depression, Crisis First Aid for Suicidal Behavior, Anxiety Disorders, Panic Attacks, Acute Stress Reaction, Psychotic Disorders, Substance Abuse Disorders, Eating Disorders, Self-Injury, and more.

Earn Your Certification

Completion of each 8-hour course earns participants Mental Health First Aider certification (valid for three years) through the National Council on Behavioral Health. Certification is ideal for educators, community volunteers, church groups, day care staff, social service providers, business leaders, training departments, community members, parents, coaches, supervisors and organizations dealing directly with the public.


Email to schedule Mental Health First Aid training for your team today, or register for a community class.

Upcoming Community Courses

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24/7 Crisis Line

Local (North Central Florida):
(352) 374-5600
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1 (800) 330-5615