OTTAWA – The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is pleased to announce that more than 100,000 Canadians have now been trained to carry out Mental Health First Aid. To commemorate this milestone, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston has agreed to be the honorary 100,000th Canadian trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).
“Mental health is a topic very close to my heart,” said Her Excellency. “In order to deepen my understanding of people who suffer from mental illness, I am taking part in this two-day course. By doing so, I also want to continue to add my voice to those who are speaking out against the stigmas associated with mental illness.”
Mental Health First Aid Canada is the training that enables people to provide support for individuals who may be experiencing a mental health problem or crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered 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.
“Mental Health First Aid, like physical first aid, ensures that there is someone close by in our communities and in our workplaces who can intervene in the event of a mental health crisis or identify an emerging mental health problem,” said Louise Bradley, President and CEO, the Mental Health Commission of Canada. “We are delighted to have Her Excellency engage in this important program —one that is available to all Canadians.”
Originally developed in Australia in 2001, the Mental Health First Aid training course has since been developed, evaluated, and disseminated in 18 countries. Mental Health First Aid Canada came under the leadership of the Mental Health Commission of Canada in February 2010 and has been deployed in workplaces, as well as fire stations, police forces, public schools, hospitals, and universities across the country.
In addition, MHFA is one of the tools organizations are using to meet the voluntary requirements of the National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
MHFA is just one of many MHCC initiatives that has Canadians talking about mental health. #308conversations (suicide prevention), Opening Minds (anti-stigma initiative), At Home/Chez Soi (housing and homelessness initiative), and MHCC’s Knowledge Exchange Centre (sharing best mental health practices from around the world) improve the nation’s mental health system for all, bringing to life the Mental Health Strategy for Canada.
ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION OF CANADA
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we create change. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.
Glenn Johnson, Senior Media Relations Specialist
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Annabelle Cloutier, Director of Public Affairs
Rideau Hall Press Office