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The Working Mind First Responders Virtual

The Working Mind First Responders (TWMFR) Virtual is an evidence-based training designed to promote mental health and reduce the stigma around mental illness in the workplace.

The Working Mind First Responders Virtual​

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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

It is specifically designed for first responders in fire, police, EMS, 911, corrections, and health care settings. The virtual course offers a primary version for employees and a leadership version for supervisors and team leads.

The Working Mind First Responders is designed to:

  • Increase your awareness of mental health.
  • Reduce stigma in the workplace.
  • Encourage mental health conversations.
  • Strengthen your resilience in order to maintain wellness.
  • Support your team using the Triple S approach (Leadership).

Primary (Modules 1-3). 5 hours

TWMFR Primary offers practical knowledge to increase self-awareness and take care of your own mental health. Upon completing the course, primary employees will be able to:

  • Define basic concepts related to mental health
  • Recognize the impact of stigma for people with mental health problems and discuss how to reduce stigma in the workplace
  • Recognize and keep track of changes in your mental health and well-being and know when to take appropriate actions or seek help
  • Have conversations about mental health with colleagues, friends, and family members
  • Recognize the role of stress and your response to stressors
  • Practice The Big 4 coping strategies to manage stress and remain resilient
  • Identify and use available mental health resources to support self and others

Primary course participants complete Modules 1-3 with the same cohort employees.

Leadership  (Modules 1-4). 7 hours

TWMFR Leadership builds on the three core primary modules and offers an additional module with leadership-specific content focused on helping leaders support their teams’ mental health. Upon completion of the course, leaders will be able to:

  • Define basic concepts related to mental health
  • Recognize the impact of stigma for people with mental health problems and discuss how to reduce stigma in the workplace
  • Recognize and keep track of changes in your mental health and well-being and know when to take appropriate actions or seek help
  • Have conversations about mental health with colleagues, friends, and family members
  • Recognize the role of stress and your response to stressors
  • Practice The Big 4 coping strategies to manage stress and remain resilient
  • Identify and use available mental health resources to support self and others
  • Support a psychologically healthy and safe workplace
  • Use the Triple S approach to identify available tools, and resources to support their team’s mental health

Leadership course participants complete Module 1-4 with the same cohort of leaders.

Topics Covered:

Module 1: Mental Health and Stigma (90 mins)

  • Good, declining, and poor mental health
  • Respec tful, non-stigmatizing, and people-first language
  • Stigma, prejudice, and discrimination

Module 2: The Mental Health Continuum (90 mins)

  • Mental health in the workplace
  • The Mental Health Continuum Tool
  • Discussion about suicide
  • Taking action and seeking support in each of the Continuum colour zones
  • Recovery and return to work

Module 3 : Stress, Resilience, and Mental Toughness (90 mins)

  • Your response to stress
  • Resilience
  • The Big 4 coping strategies
  • Self-care
  • Support and ressources

Module 4: Supporting Your Team – Leadership Only (120 mins)

  • Shield: Promoting positive mental health in the workplace
  • Shield: Ad Hoc Incident Review
  • Sense: Leader action in yellow and green
  • Sense: Having healthy conversations
  • Support: Leader actions in orange and red of the continuum
  • Support: Return to work & accommodation

Course Delivery:

All TWMFR Virtual courses are delivered by a certified facilitator and offer interactive virtual activities, scenario-based discussions, practical handouts and reference guides, and feature testimonial videos that showcase the stories of individual first responders living in recovery with mental illness.

The Working Mind First Responder Virtual is divided into four distinct modules. Its flexible delivery format allows for choices in scheduling and modular format supports increased participant engagement in a virtual learning setting.

These four modules are designed to be delivered as follows:

  • in the order given (as the content builds on each previous module)
  • spaced out within a timespan of no longer than two weeks, in combinations such as:
  • one module per day
  • two modules delivered back-to-back one day and the remaining on another day
  • all modules delivered on the same day with breaks between modules

Recent Blog Posts

If there was ever a need for crisis training, it was during the onset of COVID-19. That’s one reason the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) stepped into the breach by offering virtual training to more than 5,139 essential workers, who took over 574 courses between April and October.

The purpose of this guideline is to help support the mental health of workers by reducing the potential for negative effects of poor ergonomics in temporary work at home situations.

Civility and respect is correlated with the workplace factor of psychological protection. They meet similar human needs. When these factors are compromised, it can result in significant stress and can have tremendous impact on the energy level of an individual, a team and even the entire organization.

Related Case Studies

Toronto Education Workers Local 4400 (TEW) is made up of approximately 17,000 education workers working primarily within the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). TEW is also home to childcare workers from various childcare centres and caretakers from Viamonde French Board, representing over 400 job classifications and over 1,000 worksites

The OAFC introduced The Working Mind First Responders (TWMFR) program, which is designed to promote mental health and wellness while reducing the stigma around mental illness in first-responder settings. Individuals who take the training learn how to improve their short- and long-term mental health outcomes and reduce barriers to care.

In 2021, WestJet teamed up with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to introduce The Working Mind (TWM) to their leaders. TWM is an evidence-based program designed to promote mental health and reduce the stigma around mental illness in the workplace.