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Archived - Mental Health First Aid

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  • The Government of Canada is investing $970K* over six years, and $150K ongoing annually, to develop and implement a Canadian Veteran-specific version of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training across the country for Veterans and their families.
  • This Canadian Veteran-specific Mental Health First Aid training will include a train-the-trainer program that will be offered to approximately 48 trainers across the country. VAC will also deliver the Canadian Veteran-specific MHFA training to up to 3,000 Veterans, their families and caregivers across the country in the next five years.
  • MHFA training is a program that provides mental health literacy training whereby participants:
    • learn about mental health conditions;
    • learn the signs and symptoms of common mental health disorders;
    • practice crisis first aid for mental health conditions;
    • learn where and how to get help; and
    • learn what type of help has been shown to be effective and why.
  • The content of the training focusses on mental health problems such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders and psychosis, as well as substance-related disorders and mental health crisis situations such as suicidal behavior, overdoses, panic attacks, reactions to traumatic events and psychotic episodes.

History of MHFA

  • MHFA was originally conceived to provide help to persons developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as physical first aid is administered to an injured person before medical treatment can be obtained, MHFA can be offered until appropriate treatment is found or until the crisis is resolved. However, since mental health education is offered, the MHFA program can also be made available to persons with a mental health condition, their family or caregivers.
  • In April 2013, the U.K. launched the first Mental Health First Aid Training for Veterans and their families. In April 2014, the US MHFA for military members, Veterans, and their families was launched and has shown positive results. In Canada, the MHFA is under the auspices of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

* This amount is an accrual amount. These figures represent the additional costs of these initiatives over the life of the programs.

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