Mental Health First Aid

Just over a week ago I got myself Mental Health First Aid certified! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for awhile. The two questions I’ve been asked since (and before, when I first told others that I was going to get it) – what is it? And why?

What is it? Mental Health First Aid trains people how to help anyone in a crisis – be it a drug overdose, panic attack, or someone attempting suicide. It also trains people how to just have a conversation about mental health. If a friend, family member, colleague or even stranger starts to talk to you about any sort of mental health related issue, it provides the knowledge and resources to handle any type or severity of conversation. A lot of the steps of Mental Health First Aid are very similar to physical first aid, and we need to remember that mental health is as important as physical health. Help end the stigma. Health is Health.

Why did I take the course? I feel it should be obvious but if it’s not, then here it is. First, I want to be a therapist and thought a course like this would be a good start, an additional learning opportunity. Second, I like to help people, and this is another way I can. Finally, I am often someone that people come to for a talk. Because they have something on their mind, because they want an ear, or advice. A lot of people who took the certification were there because of this reason. If I have the tools, I can be a more effective helper.

Today is #BellLetsTalk day in Canada. Every text message sent from a Bell phone, every phone call made from a Bell phone, every tweet, watching their video on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat leads to a 5 cent donation to mental health initiatives. Help support the cause!