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Mental Health First Aid - Police

MHFA Police is an adaptation of the MHFA Basic course that is tailored to the needs of police. MHFA Police focuses on improving police interactions where mental health may be an issue.

Mental Health First Aid Logo

Participants build the knowledge, skills, and confidence to respond effectively to someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue or crisis.

The course is intended for police services and their support staff across Canada. It is delivered through 30 minutes of online learning followed by 8 hours in-class.

Course Topics: Pre-Classroom, Online.

MHFA Police was developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) in collaboration with police officers and mental health experts from across Canada. If you would like more information on training, please email mhfapolice@mentalhealthcommission.ca

Course Topics: Pre-Classroom, Online

•    Current situation: Frequency of police interactions with those in our community living with a mental health issue
•    Challenge for Police: How to intervene to achieve positive outcomes?
•    Course aims and objectives
•    Terminology 
•    Mental Health Acts by Province
•    Guiding documents 
•    Self-Assessment 
•    Pre-Course Survey

Course model

In the MHFA course, you will gain a solid understanding of the 6 basic actions of ALGEES:

Approach the person, assess the situation
Listen actively and communicate non-judgementally
Give support and information
Encourage the person to get appropriate professional help
Encourage other supports
Self-care for the first aider

ALGEES is the framework for having a confident conversation about mental health with family, friends, colleagues and strangers.

Talk To Us

Interested in mental health training for your organization? Let us know
In appreciation, you’ll be automatically entered in a contest where you could win a cash prize or gift certificate. * Disclaimer: • Completion of the form is voluntary. • The information collected by the Mental Health Commission of Canada will only be used for the purpose described above.
Please indicate if training is for an individual or for a group?
Would you like to receive monthly updates from our mental health training team?
No purchase necessary. Open to residents of Canada age 13+ who are the intended recipient of an invitation to complete the Mental Health Commission of Canada MHFA, TWM and TWMFR / Knowledge Product] survey and participate in the contest. Starts October 3, 2022 at 12:00 a.m. ET and ends March 15, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 6 prizes available: (i) 1 x $500 CAD online retailer gift certificate prize; and (ii) 5 x $50 CAD online retailer gift certificate prizes. Limit 1 entry per person/email. Odds depend on number of eligible entries. Math skill-testing question required. Full rules and entry details

Key outcomes

The aims of this course are to teach police how to:
  • Apply the tools to respond appropriately to a mental health crisis
  • Recognize indicators of possible mental health issues
  • Support someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue
  • Learn and integrate tools to maintain personal wellness as part of responding to a mental health issue or crisis.

Crisis first aid skills learned

  • Panic attack
  • Suicidal behaviour
  • Psychotic episode
  • Non-suicidal self-injury
  • After a traumatic event

Course sections

1. Introduction

  • Mental health in Canada and implications for police
  • Value of MHFA for Police
  • Current strategies

2. ALGEES Action

  • Application of ALGEES to police scenarios
  • Possible challenges
  • Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours for using ALGEES effectively

3. ALGEES in Action

  • Application of ALGEES to police scenarios
  • Possible challenges
  • Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours for using ALGEES effectively

4. Crisis Situations

  • Suicide
  • Non-Suicidal Self-Injury
  • Severe Psychotic States
  • Panic Attack
  • Reaction to Trauma

5. Next Steps

  • Identify 5 things you will take away from this course
  • Create an action plan to implement 3 things you will do to apply what you learned

MHFA Resources

Several months ago, I had the opportunity to participate in Mental Health First Aid training for the first time. It was an eye-opening experience that really made me look inward and assess my outlook on mental health and what living with a mental illness entails. 

We know these past 4 months have been unusual to say the least. We have all reacted to the worldwide pandemic in our own way, doing the best we can every single day.

A lot of the time when I’m delivering mental health training, people tend to forget or overlook their mental health, because they think it doesn’t affect them.

MHFA Case Studies

Founded in 1983 in Canada, nabs is a unique charity specifically designed to support the health and well-being of all individuals in the media, marketing, and communications industry in Canada.

In 2018, Loblaw started working on being more proactive by providing store managers with the tools they need to respond to mental health crises in the workplace.

“Since the completion of the training, we are now seeing our units being more proactive in initiating discussions and understanding what community resources are available to further support our co-workers.”