What Is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received, or until the crisis is resolved. The concept is based on the model of medical first aid.
Mental Health First Aid is an evidence-based course developed in Australia. The course has been formally evaluated and shows a number of benefits, such as:
- Better recognition of mental health problems
- Increased knowledge about appropriate treatments
- Reduced stigma
- Increased confidence in providing help to others
Some mental health problems are more common than many physical health problems. While people often know a lot about physical illness, most people have little knowledge about mental illness. This lack of understanding promotes fear and stigma. it prevents people from seeking help early and seeking the best kind of help. It also keeps people from providing appropriate support to friends, colleagues, family members and people around them simply because they do not know how.
What Is the Purpose of the Course?
Mental Health First Aid teaches participants to help someone showing signs of a mental health problem, or experiencing a mental health crisis. The course aims to teach people to:
- Identify when a person may be a danger to themselves or to others, and take steps to preserve a life
- Recognize the early signs of mental health problems and provide help to prevent more serious problems from developing
- Provide comfort to someone with a mental health problem and support them in the recovery of their mental health
- Guide a person towards the appropriate professional help
Mental Health First Aid For Adults Who Interact with Youth is a 14-hour course with a focus on youth mental health problems. The course is generally delivered in a two-day format, however the 14 hours can be spaced out over the course of several sessions, based on the requirements of the participants.
The course is interactive and provides a supportive group-learning environment. Practical skills are taught using a model that is easy to remember and apply in real-life settings.
Who Should Attend?
Everyone can benefit from Mental Health First Aid—members of the general public, teachers, health service providers, university students, emergency workers, frontline workers who work with youth, volunteers, human resource professionals, employers, community groups, etc.
Expectations of course participants
After completing the Mental Health First Aid course, participants will receive a Mental Health First Aid Canada certificate. Participants will also receive a Mental Health First Aid manual, which covers the course content and provides additional resources. Participants must attend all 14 hours of the course to receive their Mental health First Aid certificate.
Mental Health First Aid Canada instructors have been selected for their knowledge of mental health and their skill in delivering the course content. They have been trained and maintain their certification through the Mental Health First Aid Canada program. to maintain the quality of the course and consistency in delivery, only qualified Mental Health First Aid instructors may deliver the course.
In the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk region, your Mental Health First Aid For Adults Who Interact with Youth certified instructors are:
Lill Petrella, Mental Health Promotion & Education Team Lead at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Brant Haldimand Norfolk Branch (Brant site) Lill may be contacted at 519-752-2998, ext. 112 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Joanne Cleland, Mental Health Promotion & Education Facilitator, Canadian Mental Health Association, Brant HaldimandNorfolk Branch (Simcoe location). Joanne may be contacted at 519-428-2380, ext. 211 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
For More Information
For more information, or to arrange for training, please feel free to contact either Joanne or Lill.
For more information on Mental Health First Aid Canada, go to www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca