iStock photo

First-ever mental health first aid course offered in Lower Mainland

New, free program hosted by the Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre

  • Sep. 13, 2018 12:00 p.m.

The Mainland BC Military Family Resource Centre (BCMFRC) is launching in Langley its first-ever course in mental health first aid for medically released veterans and their families.

Taking place Sept. 26 and 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre, the course, which grants Mental Health First Aid — Veteran Community certification, is free and open to anyone in the community to take.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend or colleague. In any given year, one in five people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.

While regular first aid courses prepare people for family medical emergencies such as burns and sprains, the mental health first aid course takes that preparedness to the next level, providing valuable, potentially life-saving information and crisis intervention skills to manage mental health challenges.

A range of mental health issues will be covered, including mood, anxiety, trauma-related, psychotic and substance use disorders. The course will also teach first aid skills for dealing with drug overdose, suicidal behaviour, panic attacks, psychosis and acute stress reaction.

The goal is to enable participants to build the skills and confidence necessary to engage in effective conversations about mental health, help them recognize the most common mental health problems and illnesses, increase their comfort level with, and willingness to, help others, and decrease the stigma and discrimination around mental health problems and illnesses.

“Mental health issues are often met with significant stigma in the world. That’s what’s so great about Mental Health First Aid – Veteran Community: because the course is about helping others, participants don’t have to worry about standing out as having a problem if they attend,” said Tracy Cromwell, BCMFRC executive director.

“In this way, the course is truly non-threatening for those who’d like to learn more about dealing with these issues.”

Mental Health First Aid – Veteran Community is one component of a new Veteran Family Program launched last April, which BCMFRC delivers on behalf of Veteran Affairs Canada. The Veteran Family Program supports the health and well-being of families as they transition from military to civilian life.

Space is limited and registration will be on a first come, first served basis. Register by Sept. 21 by contacting veterans@bcmfrc.com.

To find out more, go to www.bcmfrc.com. Additional sessions are planned for other B.C. locations in the year ahead.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Serious police incident unfolding at Sts’ailes

Small reserve near Agassiz surrounded by police vehicles, helicopter, ERT

Mission RCMP Constable rescues injured goose

Unlike some other calls, this one was a wild goose chase

Taco Festival includes wrestling, dog beauty pageant and chili-pepper-eating contest

Outdoor event announced for Sept. 14 at Abbotsford Centre

Abbotsford Garden Party raises money for hospice

Money raised sends kids to Abbotsford Airshow

Nikki Werner Band, Leaf Rapids up next for Mission concert series

Twilight shows take place at 7 p.m. at Fraser River Heritage Park

VIDEO: Wet weather kicks off Lower Mainland toad migration

Thousands of small western toads were making the trek from pond to woods

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

RCMP release sketch of suspect in SFU assault, appeal to witnesses who helped woman

The RCMP want to talk to two women who helped the victim after she got to the parking lot

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Most Read