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Mental Health First Aid

If you have taken a physical first aid course, you will have learned how to help someone who is ill or injured. People can also have mental health crisis, and it is important that more Canadians know how to provide help in these circumstances, too.

Become a Mental Health First Aider and learn how to recognize and provide aid for someone who is experiencing a mental health issue or crisis until appropriate treatment is found or the situation is resolved.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) offers three accredited training programs through Suicide Prevention Resource Centre.

MHFA Basic

Intended for adults interacting with adults (18 years and older). This course focuses on the four most common mental health disorders including substance related, mood related, anxiety and trauma related, and psychotic disorders. Participants who take this course are well prepared to interact confidently about mental health with their family, friends, communities, and workplaces.

Next available:

  • Dates: March 8 – 9, 2018
  • Cost: $225

MHFA Adults

MHFA Adults Who Interact with Youth is intended for an adult audience whose primary focus is youth (aged 14-25). In addition to the four most common disorders discussed in MHFA BASIC, this course includes instruction about eating disorders and deliberate self-injury. Participants who take this course are well prepared to interact confidently about mental health with the young people in their lives, including at schools, extra-curricular activities, social services, family, friends, and communities.

Next available:

  • Dates: TBA, 2018
  • Cost: $225

MHFA Seniors

Canada has an aging population. As of July 1, 2015, there were more people aged 65 years and older in Canada than children under the age of 15 years. The likelihood of experiencing a mental health problem or illness in a given year increases as of age 69 and currently, men aged 80 and older have the highest suicide rates in Canada.

MHFA Seniors is an adaptation of the MHFA Basic course that is intended to increase the capacity of seniors, families (informal caregivers), friends, staff in care settings and communities to promote mental health in seniors, prevent mental illness and suicide wherever possible in seniors and intervene early when problems first emerge.

The course content and resource materials are based on best available evidence and practice guidelines and were developed in consultation with Canadian experts in the field of geriatric psychiatry. The curriculum was developed for the Mental Health Commission of Canada at Trillium Health Partners, a healthcare organization which priorities seniors’ health and wellness.

Next available:

  • Dates: November 15 – 16, 2017
  • Cost: $225

In all three MHFA courses, you will gain a solid understanding of the 5 basic actions of ALGEE:

  • Assess the risk of suicide and/or harm
  • Listen non-judgmentally
  • Give reassurance
  • Encourage professional support
  • Encourage other supports

ALGEE is the framework for having a confident conversation about mental health with family, friends, colleagues, and strangers.