Mental Health First Aid - BWRH1

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Mental Health First Aid

Opportunities > Training

A new kind of first aid is coming to
the West Huron Care Centre

Course focuses on helping people experiencing mental health problems or crises

Ontario, Zurich, May 10, 2016 -
Research shows that at some point in their lives, mental health problems affect one in three Canadians.   So the chances are good that each of us knows someone with a mental health problem such as a substance-related disorder, depression, anxiety, or a psychotic disorder. While thousands of people across the country know how to provide first aid to someone with a physical injury, a lot fewer people are able to recognize the signs of someone needing mental health first aid.

But that’s changing thanks to a new mental health first aid training program for the general public, being offered coast-to-coast by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Canada, a program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

The MHFA program, developed by Dr. Anthony Jorm and Betty Kitchener at the University of Melbourne in Australia, is an evidenced-based program that has spread to several countries throughout the world including Scotland, England, Hong Kong, Finland, Singapore, and the U.S. "Mental health first aid is help for a person experiencing a mental health problem or a mental health crisis.  Just like physical first aid, the goal is to offer a person immediate assistance until they can receive appropriate professional treatment or until the crisis is over," says Angie Dunn, CEO of Blue Water Rest Home.

MHFA Canada training is coming to our area this year. The courses at the West Huron Care Centre comprise 12 hours of instruction:
September 27 & 28, 2018 ~ 9-4pm

The course costs $160.00 (payable to Blue Water Rest Home).
Those interested can register by phone at 519-236-4373 ext. 631, or by e-mail to:

MHFA Canada is an interactive course for anyone and no previous mental health experience is necessary. It can benefit teachers, health care professionals, emergency service workers, human resource professionals, employers, managers and supervisors, community groups, and the public.

The 12-hour course provides general information about what is meant by mental health problems and illnesses, how to identify signs of mental health problems in yourself and others, effective interventions and treatments, and how to support an individual and help them find out about and access the professional help they may need.

It also dispels common myths surrounding mental health problems and reduces the stigma around mental illness, since estimates suggest that more than half of people with a mental health problem will never seek treatment. "The course doesn’t train people to diagnose mental illness or be a therapist or counselor," says Dunn. "It provides the first aider with actions to guide a person in need to appropriate professional help when a problem first arises.  We know that the sooner a person with a mental health problem gets help, the better their chances of recovery."

More information about mental health first aid and dates and locations of upcoming courses across Canada can be found at

Mental Health First Aid Canada (MHFA Canada)
Mental Health First Aid Canada (MHFA) is a comprehensive program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada that gives people the skills to provide that early intervention that is so important in recovery.  It is the help provided 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.

About the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for transformative change. Our mission is to work with stakeholders to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to promote mental health and help people who live with mental health problems lead meaningful and productive lives. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada. For more, visit

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