What is Mental Health First Aid?

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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. Next class May 11th & 12th

"Just as physical First Aid is given to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, Mental Health First Aid is given until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved.”

Canadian Mental Health Commission

When we think of First Aid, we naturally think of the lifesaving skills we learn to help someone who has been injured in an accident or who is choking or having a heart attack. But how many of us would know what to do if someone is suffering from the pain of a mental health illness or problem? Would you be able to recognize their invisible pain?

This is where Mental Health First Aid comes in. Last year, St. John Ambulance, in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Bell Let’s Talk began offering Mental Health First Aid courses.

“Addressing healthcare needs should include a person’s access to mental health support. With the support of Bell Let’s Talk, St. John Ambulance is poised to evolve our First Aid courses, which are delivered to more than 500,000 Canadians each year, to include a new mental health component,” said Philip Clarke, Chancellor of St. John Ambulance.

Bell Let's Talk St. John Ambulance Mental Health First Aid Commission

300,000 Canadians have been trained in MHFA to help those who are experiencing mental health illnesses or problems. The MHFA course, developed by the Canadian Mental Health Commission has already positively impacted Canadians in schools, community groups and in the workplace.

As Bell Let’s Talk spokesperson Clara Hughes said, “Having someone nearby who is trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness can make such an important difference for someone experiencing a crisis. Providing initial help and guiding a person toward appropriate professional resources is just as important for our mental health as for our physical wellbeing.

Bell Let's Talk - Listen

People who have taken the MHFA course tell us they have benefited in many ways:

• They are more able to recognize the most common mental health problems

• They feel less social distance from people with mental health problems

• They have increased confidence in providing help to others

• Those who have taken the course feel that their mental health has improved

When more people are aware of the many advantages of learning MHFA, we will all be better off. Being equipped with Mental Health First Aid means we no longer need to feel helpless for someone who is dealing with mental health challenges.

Our next Mental Health First Aid classes are on May 11th & 12th. $165, Tax Free.  Call today to register:  519-579-6285 or register online at sja.ca. YOU can do that!