What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a training course designed to give members of the public the skills to
help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health
crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it builds mental health literacy,
decreases stigmatizing attitudes, and helps individuals identify, understand, and respond to
signs of mental illness.
Canadian statistics show that one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem this year. MHFA is an interactive workshop that teaches participants to recognize the signs that a person may be developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis and how to provide initial help and guide the person to appropriate professional resources.
The two-day course addresses the most common and most stigmatized mental health disorders and includes signs/symptoms, risk factors, and crisis first aid for specific situations. The first four following disorders are addressed in the MHFA Basic course for Adults, and all six disorders are addressed in the MHFA for Adults who Interact with Youth.
Anxiety and Trauma-Related Disorders
Eating disorders (included in MHFA for Adults who Interact with Youth)
Deliberate self-injury (included in MHFA for Youth)
MHFA does not teach participants to become therapists or counselors. Rather, it provides the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that allow someone to offer effective first aid intervention.
“No matter where you grew up, what level of education you earned, or what profession you are in, marriage status, or culture you belong to, Mental Health First Aid is going to improve society in so many ways. It will break down barriers.”
It was a great opportunity to present at the forum hosted by the Centre for Innovation for Campus Mental Health, Queens University, February 12, 2019, https://campusmentalhealth.ca/
We shared our bold ideas calling for a peer led mental health support group recognized & supported by a comprehensive & integrated one-stop mental health safe space on campus providing appropriate professional clinical support. We suggested all peers receive mental health first aid training to empower and give them the confidence, knowledge & tools to help a fellow student who may be struggling with a mental health challenge.
The MHFA course is offered often. For other services such as workshops, presentations and workplace assessment, please contact us. We are happy to explore how we can help you and your organization support mental health and wellness for your team. We offer a multitude of services to assist you in your goal to support your team to be healthy, effective, productive and empowered.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
"Great course. Allowed me to gain some insight into mental health and some valuable tools I will be able to apply in the workplace."
"Every workplace should have presentations on mental health. It is so helpful. I have simple and useful strategies to help my team."
"The instructor's passion, knowledge and enthusiasm was the strength of the course."
"This course helped me personally. My daughter was in a crisis, and I found myself using mental health first aid. Awesome. It works."
"I feel I know myself better, that I feel better, because I now understand mental health and why I feel the way I do sometimes."
Various training dates are available. Private class sessions are available to groups of 8 or more. We pride ourselves in meeting your time commitments and are happy to begin planning your private session with you.
If you want to know more about the course dates listed on our site, or wish to schedule a date for your own group, or would like to know more about other workplace solutions we offer, we would love to hear from you. Please click "Contact Us" below:
ANYONE over the age of 16 is welcome to take the MHFA for Youth course, and over the age of 18 for the MHFA Basic course. You do not need any formal training or prior knowledge in mental health. If you have a family member, friend, employee, or colleague who you think has a mental illness and you want to help, or you want to be prepared in the event it happens – then this is the course for you!
We especially encourage Human Resource Professionals, First Responders, and anyone who is a manager or supervisor to attend this training. It can be highly beneficial in your roles assisting employees living with mental illness. We offer MHFA for Youth, as well.
Participants who take mentalhealthfirstaidtraining are well prepared to interact confidently about mentalhealth with their family, friends, communities, and workplaces. Peer-reviewed published studies show that individuals trained in MHFA show success in the following areas:
There is stigma associated with mental health problems. Evidence shows that taking an MHFA courses reduces social distance between the participant and someone experiencing a mental health problem.
One person in five will experience a mental health problem this year. Evidence shows that MHFA course participants increase their awareness of signs and symptoms of the most common mental health problems.
The most difficult part of intervening is knowing what to say. Evidence shows that taking an MHFA course increases the confidence participants have in engaging someone experiencing a mentalhealth problem or crisis. Participants can identify professional and self-help resources for individuals with a mental health problem, and show increased mental wellness themselves.
Just like physical first aid is provided until medical treatment can be obtained, mentalhealthfirstaid is given until appropriate support is found or until the crisis is resolved.
Who Should Take a Mental Health First Aid Course?
Mental Health First Aid is intended for individuals over the age of 16 years for the Youth course, and 18 years for the Basic course. Since 2007, MHFA has been offered in every sector and region of the country, encompassing friends and families of individuals with a mental illness or addiction, workplaces, primary care, secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, government, construction, youth and community development programs, first responders, and many others.