Mental Health First Aid Course

What follows is a review of a course I took from CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) this month.

Mental Health First Aid is described as : “providing comfort and assistance to a person experiencing a mental health issue or crisis until the person gets professional help or the crisis is resolved.”

There is a great need for this as: “In Canada one person in five will experience some problem with their mental health in the course of a year and… one person in three  will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime.”

A  Mental Health Commission of Canada study estimates mental health problems cost the economy $50 billion in the cost of direct services and lost productivity in 2011.

Added to this is the fact that mental illness most likely strikes people during their most productive years (25 yrs to 44 yrs).

The course, which takes two full days, covers:

  1. Substance-related disorders
  2. Mood-related disorders
  3. Anxiety and trauma-related disorders
  4. Psychotic disorders

And what of the future of mental health?

By 2020, WHO (World Health Organization) anticipates that depression will be the leading cause of disability for all ages and sexes in developed countries.

As there are 8.1 million caregivers in Canada (1 in 4 Canadians), the stress they endure is likely to have a major impact on mental health, so courses like these are essential.

All the more reason to practice good self-care.  Stay tuned for blog posts on resilience, and also some very cool mental health websites coming out of Australia.

Calm Pond


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