New Milestone for Mental Health First Aid Canada
50,000 Canadians trained to respond to a mental health crisis
Calgary, April 19, 2012 – More than 50,000 Canadians are now trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) to provide initial help to a person developing a mental health problem or illness, or experiencing a mental health crisis.
“We are so proud to have provided Mental Health First Aid training to 50,000 Canadians,” says Denise Waligora, Manager of Program Education of MHFA Canada. “Our numbers will continue to grow as we all become more aware of the incredible value MHFA can bring to an organization, community, or even a family.”MHFA is an evidence-based program of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) that gives people the skills to provide the early help that is so important when someone is experiencing a mental health problem. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA is given until appropriate support or treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved. Participants learn how to:
• Recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems;
• Provide initial help; and
• Guide a person towards appropriate professional help.
A probation officer from Ontario who recently completed the training said, “I had an amazing experience in this training which is going to benefit me in my field.”
“Everyone should take this course, especially if you work in education,” said an education coordinator after completing the training.
Since joining the MHCC in February 2010, MHFA Canada has grown significantly. The number of MHFA instructors has increased from 250 to more than 600, and the number of people trained in MHFA across Canada has jumped from 19,000 to more than 50,000.
The course is open to everyone including teachers, health service providers, emergency workers, police, frontline workers who deal with the public, volunteers, human resources professionals, employers, and community groups among many others. To find a course in your area go to the MHFA website, www.mentalhealthfirstaid.ca
Anthony Jorm, PhD, one of the creators of MHFA, will be presenting at Together Against Stigma: Changing How We See Mental Illness, an international conference in Ottawa June 4-6, 2012. For more information visit www.togetheragainststigma2012.ca
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.
The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Production of this document is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.
For further information:
Kristin Bernhard, Communication Specialist
Office: 403 385 4066, Cell: 403 620 2339