It’s critical to deal with physical emergencies quickly, but it is just as important not to neglect a mental health emergency.
‘Mental Health First Aid’ refers to the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. For over four years the program has taught Canadians how to respond to mental health emergencies, enabling them to better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or colleague.
To date, more than 50,000 people have been trained across Canada. The program is available to anyone interested in learning mental health first aid, including employees such as human resource managers, teachers, counselors, transit workers, nurses and police officers.
MHFA does not teach people how to be therapists but does teach how to:
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems;
- Provide initial help;
- Guide a person towards appropriate professional help.
- MHFA also offers Instructor training for qualified individuals who wish to train others to become mental health first aiders. To date, MHFA has trained over 600 Instructors who are located in all provinces and territories. MHFA is also taught in French.
Current course offerings open to any interested member of the public include:
MHFA Basic - focused on adults.
MHFA for Adults who Interact with Youth 12 to 24.
Courses in development include:
MHFA for Northern Life and Peoples - a course aimed at people residing in Canada's northern territories of Nunavut, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories.
MHFA for First Nations.
To find a course or instructor near you, and for more information about MHFA Canada -
please visit: www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca.