Community Helpers Program
Do your friends often come to you when they are upset?
Do people tell you that you are a good listener?
Do you find that young people trust you and sometimes confide in you?
If you have answered YES to any of these questions, then you are already a NATURAL HELPER.
Community Helpers Program is a free training initiative available in schools, in workplaces and community groups for people who have a natural tendency to help others. The training helps identify and train Alberta’s youth and youth adults ages 12 to 30, as well as adults who support this age group (teachers, coaches etc.).
Through workshops and skills training, Community Helpers training provides information to strengthen an individual’s existing supportive skills while emphasizing the importance of self-care while strengthening your skills while learning more about mental health and suicide prevention. In order to reduce stigma and increase awareness with regard to youth mental health issues, diverse collaborative partnerships must be fostered and a common language must be developed. Using proper language helps to reduce stigma.
Through training participants learn:
- About issues affecting youth and young adults
- How to recognize when someone needs help and feel confident offering help
- How to encourage youth and young adults to ask for help when they need it
- Community supports, treatments and resources available
- How to identify mental health issues and reduce stigma
- About suicide prevention
How do I become a Community Helper? In school settings, students are nominated or selected based on their desire to help others. Youth turn to each other for support. The Community Helpers training assists them to become more effective helpers for themselves and others.
How long is training? Training is flexible but typically includes 9-10 modules once a week for 9-10 weeks; or once a month for 9-10 months in the Grande Prairie area. In Grande Prairie and area training usually is done in grade 8’s & 9’s typically during their health block. Certificates are awarded upon completion.
The CHP was developed with permission by the Life-Role Development Group Limited in partnership with Alberta Health Services. The program has been in place across the province since 2008. About 1,500 people take part in training each year.
For more information:
Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention thanks Alberta Health Services for their generous support of the Community Helpers program in our region.