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MSA Workshops

As the Massachusetts commission on service and volunteerism, MSA convenes volunteer managers from the public, private and nonprofit sectors through periodic conferences and training events. MSA offers high-quality, affordable workshops on topics relating to both volunteer and nonprofit management. Workshops generally take place in the fall (October - December) and spring (March - May). Topics and locations vary. Most workshops are open to the general public. Some sessions are limited to MSA grantees.


Join the Massachusetts Service Alliance for a special certificate program: 


Youth Mental Health First Aid


  • Date: Friday, March 10th
  • Time:  8:30am until 5:00pm
  • Location:  Northeastern Crossing, 1175 Tremont Street, Boston MA
  • Details:  Breakfast, Lunch, and Textbook provided
  • Cost: $40.00

This program is full. Please contact please Shana Lothrop, Program Officer for Volunteer Initiatives, at 617-542-2544 ext. 214 or slothrop@mass-service.org if you would like to be added to the waitlist. 


About the Workshop:


Youth Mental Health First Aid USA is an 8 hour public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.


The course teaches participants the risk factors and warning signs of a variety of mental health challenges common among adolescents, including anxiety, depression, psychosis, eating disorders, AD/HD, disruptive behavior disorders, and substance use disorder. Participants do not learn to diagnose, nor how to provide any therapy or counseling - rather, participants learn to support a youth developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis by applying a core five-step action plan:


  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • Listen nonjudgmentally
  • Give reassurance and information
  • Encourage appropriate professional help
  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies


The Youth Mental Health First Aid USA curriculum is primarily focused on information participants can use to help adolescents and transition-age youth, ages 12-18.


The course is designed for adults who regularly interact with adolescents (teachers, school staff, coaches, youth group leaders, parents, etc.), but is being tested for appropriateness within older adolescent groups (16 and older) so as to encourage youth peer to peer interaction. Please note, this is not a clinical training.



Jaime Lederer, MSW, MPH

Jaime is a Public Health Social Worker with 10 years of experience in youth development in urban settings including schools, community-based organizations and health care. Using a racial justice and health equity lens, she is passionate about elevating and empowering youth voices to advocate for policies, programs and resources to improve the community. Her experience and expertise includes coalition-building, program planning, policy advocacy, group facilitation and training (with youth and adults). Additional skills include organizational management, community development and data-driven program development.


Save the Date!


Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in Service-Learning and other Project Based Learning

May 2nd, Boston MA

Presented by Tracy Harkins of Kids Consortium


Details and additional Spring Training opportunities to follow!

MSA Conference

MSA holds a bi-annual statewide conference on service and volunteering in the spring. This year's conference will be held on Monday, June 12, 2017 at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center. Information about the conference can be found on the conference page here.


For more information on MSA's statewide conference, please contact Colin McLaughlin, Administrative Coordinator, at 617-542-2544 ext. 221 or cmclaughlin@mass-service.org.

Other Training Resources

Below is a partial list of other organizations in Massachusetts that offer training or technical assistance to strengthen volunteer and service programs. MSA updates the list periodically to keep this information current. If you would like to be added to this list or have questions, please contact Colin McLaughlin, Administrative Coordinator, at 617-542-2544 ext. 221 or cmclaughlin@mass-service.org.