Mental Health First Aid

 

Helping someone through a mental health crisis or problem

If someone sprains their ankle, chances are you will know what to do. If someone has a panic attack, chances are you won't.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a comprehensive program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada that gives you the skills to provide early intervention to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved.

​Participants will learn:

  • The most common mental health illnesses and crises, including identifying signs and symptoms.

  • The steps to support an individual having a mental health crisis, or gradually deteriorating mental health.

  • Tools to confidently approach and have a conversation with someone who is having a mental health crisis or problem.

  • How to help a person having a crisis or declining health get the professional help they need.

Note that this course does NOT teach the participant how to fix the issue or provide counselling or psychological services.

Why take the MHFA course?

If you interact with a population that has a high percentage of mental health challenges, or that are in high-stress situations that may trigger a mental health crisis, this is an important course to equip yourself.

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Stigma

Taking a mental health course such as MHFA reduces the social distance between yourself and the person experiencing a mental health problem.

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Awareness

One in five people will experience a mental health problem. MHFA increases your understanding of signs and symptoms so the person can receive help.

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Confidence

MHFA gives you confidence to engage someone who is experiencing a mental health challenge and teaches you what to say to be compassionate and helpful.

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Course Contents

MHFA Basic is designed to equip adults to interact with adults who are having a mental health problem. Participants who take this course are well prepared to interact confidently about mental health with their family, friends, communities, and workplaces.

Course Contents:

  1. Mental Health and Stigma

  2. Substance related disorders

  3. Mood related disorders

  4. Anxiety and trauma-related disorders

  5. Psychotic disorders

Crisis first aid skills learned for the following scenarios:

  • Substance overdose

  • Suicidal behaviour

  • Panic attack

  • Acute stress reaction

  • Psychotic episode

5 basic actions of ALGEES:

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

  • Assess the risk of suicide and/or harm

  • Listen non-judgmentally

  • Give reassurance

  • Encourage professional support

  • Encourage other supports

  • Self-care for the first-aider

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About the Mental Health Commission of Canada

 

The Mental Health First Aid course was developed in 2001 by Australians Betty Kitchener and Anthony Jorm. It was brought to Canada in 2006 by the Alberta Mental Health Board where it was adapted for Canadian context. In 2010 it becomes a national program across Canada as it is adopted by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

 

MHFA Canada is a program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The MHCC aims to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and illnesses and to improve services and support. Over 400,000 people in Canada have been trained in MHFA through hundreds of partners. This international program is offered in over 25 countries. For more information about the MHFA course, please visit mhfa.ca.

Register for the Course

 

This course is available in-person in Edmonton and Calgary, or in a live online option. Once you have registered, you will receive an official booking confirmation within two business days.

Duration:

  • Online live course: 3 hours of self-study + 8 hours over 1 day

  • Classroom course: 16 hours over 2 days

Tuition: $199 + GST 
Certification: Issued by the Mental Health Commission of Canada