Get Your Team Certified In Mental Health First Aid
The cost of mental illnesses to the Canadian economy is estimated at over $50 billion annually, with $20 billion of that stemming directly from workplace losses. On average, mental health issues cost businesses almost $1,500 per employee, per year*
Mental Health First Aid will help you and your team identify emerging issues in people they work with and care about. And they’ll learn exactly the right steps to take – so their colleagues, friends & loved ones can get the help they need ASAP.
*Mental Health Commission of Canada
Needs Assessment Will Cover:
- Staff size & demographics
- Current staff knowledge of & experience with supporting mental health
- Mental health programs/policies/supports currently in place
- Any problems/trends/experiences of particular concern (to determine best potential instructor match)
If I sprain my ankle, chances are you’ll know what to do.
If I have a panic attack, chances are you won’t.
People in their early and prime working years are among the hardest hit by mental health problems and illnesses. At any given time, about 21.4% of the working population in Canada experience mental health problems which can affect their productivity.
Further, mental health problems and illnesses account for approximately 30% of short – and long-term disability claims and are rated one of the top three drivers of such claims by more than 80% of
At The Expert Talk, we know that you want to support the mental and emotional wellbeing of the people you work with. When we start to notice behaviour & attitude changes in people around us, it’s hard to know if and when to express concern, and how to even start the conversation for worries of being perceived as intrusive, nosey, or out of line.
And so we often say nothing.
Many people dealing with mental health and substance use disorders often start in adolescence or early adulthood, and kids often struggle longer than they have to because the people around them don’t know how to recognize the signs, how to get them to open up, or what resources to turn to.
That’s why we’re proud to offer Mental Health First Aid. This course was developed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and is taught by certified instructors. It is now available virtually for the first time.
Your entire team is a part of the support network for each other. Together, you can help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health, offer a critical lifeline to the ones who need it most, and create a supportive and proactive work culture.
Contact us today to book your training so your team can stop feeling helpless, and can start feeling confident that they know exactly what to do.
What People Are Saying …
“This will save lives…”
“If this course was part of the Grade 12 health portion of the Physical Education Program in high school, major strides in changing public attitude and awareness would be effected. I believe this will save lives.”
“Would highly recommend”
“I was extremely impressed with the course. We brought a youth group to do the course and we were very impressed with how the instructors interacted & responded to them. Would highly recommend to anyone wanting to build their own confidence in recognizing, empathizing, & supporting individuals struggling with mental health issues.”
“Should be mandatory…”
“This was a very useful workshop and should be mandatory for anyone who has to deal with clients/students and especially your peers. This workshop gives you the tool to recognize and deal with the behavior more easily.”
How It Works
- 1 -
Choose your virtual training date
- 2 -
Complete a self-directed online
module within 2 weeks of your live
training start date.
(approximately 2 hours)
- 3 -
Attend live online training with a certified
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) instructor.
(Two 3.5-hour sessions)
“Should be a requirement”
“This course was very informational, practical, and enjoyable. I believe it should be a requirement just as the traditional first aid courses are. If it were more widely available I would certainly encourage my employees to attend.”
“Really great refresher on mental health disorders along with the first aid aspect – great tools to add to my toolbox”
“Knowledgeable and empathetic”
“Excellent instructors! Very knowledgeable and were empathetic. They quickly created a safe space where we were able to discuss course content and personal experiences freely! Thanks :)”
From the Mental Health Commission of Canada …
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the support provided to a person who may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis. The Mental Health Commission of Canada reports that one in every five Canadians experiences a mental health problem within a given year. While we often know a lot about physical illness, there tends to be less knowledge about mental health or substance use problems. This lack of understanding leads to fear and negative attitudes towards individuals living with these problems. It prevents people from seeking help for themselves and from providing appropriate support to people around them.
Course participants will learn how to recognize signs that a person may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis and encourage that person to:
- Talk about declines in their mental well-being
- Discuss professional and other supports that could help with recovery to improved mental well-being
- Reach out to these supports
- Assist in a mental health or substance use crisis
- Use MHFA actions to maintain one’s own mental well-being
Why take this course?
There is stigma associated with mental health problems. Evidence shows that taking an MHFA courses reduces social distance between the participant and someone experiencing a mental health problem.
One person in five will experience a mental health problem this year. Evidence shows that MHFA course participants increase their awareness of signs and symptoms of the most common mental health problems.
The most difficult part of intervening is knowing what to say. Evidence shows that taking an MHFA course increases the confidence participants have in engaging someone experiencing a mental health problem or crisis.
Mental Health First Aid Course Content
Day 1 (Module 1) – Self-Directed Online (2 hrs)
This self-guided module will introduce you to the information and strategies that will be discussed and practiced during the instructor-led classes. Module must be complete no later than three days prior to Day 2.
- What is Mental Health First Aid?
- MHFA Action Plan
- ALGEES in Action
- Developing Helpful Knowledge, Attitudes & Behaviours
- Closing Activity
Day 2 (Module 2) – Live Online with Instructor (3.5 hrs)
Day 2 focuses on Mental Health First Aid for declining wellbeing. Participants will learn how to assess changes in behaviour and will practice critical skills for starting a conversation with someone they’re concerned about, listening non-judgmentally, and determining if further support or resources are necessary.
- Role of a Mental Health First Aider
- MHFA Action Steps (ALGEES)
- Assessing the Situation + Self-Awareness Activity
- Communicating Respectfully & Possible Challenges
- Case Studies & Debrief
- Signs of Declining Wellbeing
Day 3 (Module 3) – Live Online with Instructor (3.5 hrs)
Day 3 covers Mental Health First Aid for crisis situations including panic attacks, suicidal ideation, overdose, and psychotic episodes. Participants will also learn the importance of self-care for themselves after supporting someone with their mental health or a mental health crisis.
- Challenges to Providing Mental Health First Aid
- Breakout Activity & Debrief
- Crisis Situations
- Safety Plans
- Group Work & Debrief – Crisis Scenarios
- Self-Care for First Aider
- Closing Activity & Next Steps to Keep Learning
Mental Health First Aid Course
Only $365 per person
Certificate Awarded Upon Successful Completion
Mental Health First Aider
You will be certified by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Your certification will be recognized in 20 countries.
“I carried a lot of misinformation”
“I am recommending this course to family, friends and colleagues. I realized through this course that I carried allot of misinformation and misconceptions about mental illness.”
“Opened my eyes”
“This experience has opened my eyes to what I am capable of doing with my mental health training. I am very grateful to have been apart of this workshop, and pleased with the resources gained. Thank you :)”
“I feel much more comfortable”
“I would recommend this course to absolutely anyone! I learned so much during the two days of the MHFA course, it really opened up my eyes to a lot of things and I feel much more comfortable talking about Mental Health with others now.”
Inclusions & Bonuses
ONLINE REFERENCE GUIDE
Access to the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s (MHCC) 200+ page quick reference guide that includes signs & symptoms, risk factors, and first aid steps for each of the mental health problems covered in the course.
BONUS #1 - POLICY CHECKLIST
10-point checklist to develop or check your own company policy for dealing with mental health problems.
BONUS #2 - PRINT REFERENCE GUIDE
Organizations will receive one copy of the MHCC’s print reference guide to keep on-site so it’s handy for anyone who needs it. Value $45
Bonus #3 - Additional Resources for Supporting Mental Health in Young People
Most of us have young people in our lives. And young people have seen the greatest increase in mental health problems since the pandemic. Because emerging mental health concerns in young people can be hard to distinguish from regular adolescent behaviour, we’ve developed these extra resources for you …
- 45-minute video on anxiety in youth – what it looks like, what it feels like, and how to help them dial anxiety down in the moment
- Conversation Starters Guide – use these questions, broken down by section of the course, to start mental health conversations with someone you’re concerned about
Get a Mental Health First Aider badge to add to your website, promotional materials, and other collateral.
“Opened my eyes to my own biases”
“This was an excellent course, made even better by the instructor. It opened my eyes to my own biases and preconceived ideas. I definitely feel better equipped to deal with students in crisis.”
“Gained confidence within myself”
“I have gained a greater awareness and understanding of Mental Health issues. I have also gained a confidence within myself as a professional to recognize, empathize and provide supports to individuals with mental health barriers.”
“Has made me more empathetic”
“This course would be appropriate for all people working at the front lines with difficult clients. The knowledge shared has made me more aware and empathatic of people suffering from mental illness.”
“It will break down barriers”
“No matter where you grew up, what level of education you earned, or what profession you are in, marriage status, or culture you belong to, Mental Health First Aid is going to improve society in so many ways. It will break down barriers.”
“As important as First Aid”
“Great course!! Valuable information, this course is as important as First Aid, they should be mandatory!”
“A great deal of interaction”
“The course presentation was great, there was a great deal of interaction and learning that engaged the whole group. I have had my eyes opened, as we deal with mental health issues on a daily basis in our work.”
Meet Our Instructors
We work with a network of instructors across the country to meet your geographical, scheduling, and experience needs.
Here are some of the facilitators available to work with your team …
CD, MHI, MEI Pamela is an experienced Facilitator, Mediator, and Life Strategist with a demonstrated history of training and coaching both individuals and corporations in the areas of conflict resolution, mediation, and mental health first...
Jen (she/her) has over a decade of experience in front-line social and health services, working primarily with youth and families around experiences of addictions, mental health, eating disorders, trauma, and exploitation. Personally and professionally, Jen...
Heather (she/her) is an Occupational Therapist with over 17 years of experience working in the formal Mental Health and Wellness systems. She is a graduate from Dalhousie University with degrees in Biology and Occupational Therapy....
Angele (she/her) has been a mental health educator since 2006. Her passion in educating communities, schools and workplaces about mental health/illness comes from personal insight into the lives of family and friends living with mental...
Lisa (she/her) has 30 years experience working in the fields of nursing and policing, and currently works as a full-time investigator in the Major Crime Domestic Violence Investigation Unit at Durham Regional Police Service. Her...
Pronouns: she/her I am one of the Owner/Operators, and Chief Executive Officer, of Calgary Alternative Support Services Inc (CASS). I have worked as a registered Social Worker for over 20 years, and as a certified...
Kris Porlier (he/him) is an Advanced Care Paramedic, employed with Calian Health Services and is also a Reserve Medical Assistant with the Royal Canadian Medical Service. In 2008, Kris completed a tour of service to...
Frequently Asked Questions
Participants must be at least 16 years of age and Canadian residents.
Participants each need a strong internet connection, webcam, and microphone. Worksheets can be printed ahead of time, but are always available in their profile on the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s website.
Participants each need to have their own device – virtual training cannot be done with all participants in one boardroom or classroom, for example.
The course is delivered in three modules:
- Self-directed online module (approx 2 hours)
- Live online session with an instructor (4 hours)
- Live online session with an instructor (4 hours)
Access to module 1 will be given two weeks prior to the first live session. Each participant must complete module 1 forward the proof they receive from the Mental Health Commission of Canada to our coordinator no later than 3 days ahead of the first live session.
Participants who do not complete module 1 in time will not be permitted to join the live portion of the course.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada strongly recommends that the two live sessions take place on different days as some of the content can be mentally and emotionally taxing.
Taking time between the sessions allows participants to reflect on the content and to bring questions to the second session.
The live section of the course includes instruction, breakout groups, scenarios, and sharing experiences. Your instructor ensures a safe space for sharing, asking questions, and discussion.
Upon completion of the course, you will be certified by the Mental Health Commission of Canada in Mental Health First Aid – Supporting Youth. MHCC recommends recertifying every two years.
An in-person version of this course is available, with notable differences:
1. The in-person course is two full days of 7 hours each
2. Groups for in-person need a minimum of 12 and can have a maximum of 25
3. The in-person course is taught through a medical lens – with more emphasis put on disorders and their signs & symptoms – where the virtual course is the MHCC’s newest version that is taught through a recovery lens. This means its focus is more on connecting with a young person, opening up the lines of trust and communication, and how to guide them toward appropriate help and support. The virtual course also includes a strong focus on self-care when supporting a young person with their mental health. The MHCC is currently adapting the in-person course to be delivered through the recovery lens – it is expected to be available later in 2022.
4. While we do have instructors across Canada, if they are not local to you, their travel costs will be the client’s responsibility.
All of our instructors have been certified by the Mental Health Commission of Canada to deliver this course. Requirements to apply as a instructor include extensive personal and/or professional background in working with people who have mental health problems.
Each of our instructors brings their own unique life experience to their classes so please discuss any specific concerns or issues you’re currently dealing with (ie. substance use issues, eating disorders/disordered eating, suicide, etc).
Your session will also have a moderator behind the scenes and who you’ll meet at the start of your first live session. This person is there to ensure smooth operation of the technology, and also to support any participant who may find themselves triggered by the content. All of our moderators have been trained in Mental Health First Aid.
Frequently Asked Questions for Teams
Groups need a minimum of ten people and can have a maximum of 15.
What if we have greater than 15 people?
Because we work with a vast network of instructors, we can easily accommodate large teams in concurrent groups of ten to 15 participants.
Alternatively, anyone who isn’t able to join with the group can take the course on one of the open registration sessions listed on our site here.
Members of your team who attend an open session will be eligible for your group rate, and can be included on your invoice.
The Mental Health Commission has only one requirement regarding scheduling the live sessions – they must take place within two weeks of each other.
Within that guideline, we can accommodate any date/time combination that suits you and your team. We have instructors all across the country who are available for weekdays, evenings, weekends, or any combination thereof.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada requires that participants complete both modules 2 and 3 with the same group and instructor. If a participant misses one of the live sessions, they will need to restart the course with a new group.
They will be able to register as an individual for any of the open sessions listed on our site. Your group rate will apply to their new session dates.
We need only three pieces of information for each participant: name, email address, and phone number.
(Phone number will only be used in the cases that: someone is having tech difficulties joining the live session; by our coordinator as a last resort if a participants module 1 has not yet been submitted; or by our moderator if a participant suddenly leaves a live session so they can reach out and make sure they’re alright.)
If participants will not be registering with company-owned email addresses, to be compliant with the CRTC’s CASL rules, a landing page will be set up by The Expert Talk and participants will simply have to submit their name, email, and phone number to confirm their participation.
All pre-course communications will come from The Expert Talk, including reminders to complete module 1, and the zoom links for the live sessions. We also have an MHFA coordinator who is available to assist participants with accessing module 1 and to provide any other help they may need.
Individual access codes are purchased from the Mental Health Commission of Canada ahead of the scheduled course and are issued to registrants two (2) weeks ahead of the first live training date. This is the “access code date”.
If the access code date is fewer than 90 days away, payment in full is due immediately to secure the dates.
If the access code date is greater than 90 days out, a deposit of 50% is due immediately and then the remaining balance is due at 60 days out.
Payments not received on or before this schedule may result in a course cancellation without refund of any deposits or expenses incurred.
A strict minimum of 8 registrants in attendance is required for an MHFA course to run. This includes situations where “no-shows” decrease the class attendance to below 8 persons.
Due to the class size and course requirements of MHFA, as set by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, there are no withdrawals, including “no shows”, permitted for MHFA. Full fee applies once registered.
Once on-line access to module 1 has been granted, no substitutions are permitted.
Before on-line access has been granted, a registrant may substitute their spot.
To switch registrants, a $25 + HST fee applies.
New registrant must complete on-line module 1 prior to class learning.
Group bookings can be rescheduled. Written notice must be given prior to 30 days from the scheduled course (access code date). The applicable fee paid (due upfront) will be held and used for the future booking. Once access codes are issued, no reschedules are permitted.
Please note: due to class size requirements, individual registrations cannot be rescheduled.
If rescheduling does not happen before the expiry of the codes (12 months) it is the responsibility of the client to pay for the purchase of the new codes for the rescheduled date.
If one or more individuals from a group booking do not show, the fee for those individuals’ registrations is non-refundable. While The Expert Talk will send instructional and reminder emails to registrants ahead of the live sessions, it is the responsibility of the client to ensure all registrants are in attendance.
Per the Canada Revenue Agency, courses that maintain, upgrade, or update your existing skills or qualifications that relate to your employment can be deducted as employment expenses.
Be sure to confirm with your accountant if this course will meet your specific eligibility requirements.
“Taught me skills that are necessary in a case of crisis”
“This course taught me the skills that are necessary in a case of crisis. I am very pleased to say that this course will help us provide clients the support they need and deserve.”
“It gave me concrete tools”
“This was an incredible course. It gave me concrete tools that I can use to help people.”
“As a clinical psychologist…”
“As a clinical psychologist I took the course to become familiar with what others are learning. I was extremely impressed by the course!!”
“I feel ready and prepared”
“This course was absolutely amazing. From start to finish, material was easy to follow, very interactive, and I felt safe to share openly. The information gained will be so beneficial to use moving forward in my teacher profession and I feel ready and prepared to support youth who struggle with mental health in various capacities.”
– Madalana J.
“I now have skills I can use”
“I feel more confident talking about mental health issues and I know I will be way more likely to approach a student than before. I now have skills I can use.”
“Learned A Lot”
“I truly enjoyed and, most importantly, LEARNED A LOT from this course. The pre-course was informative and really helped to shape and guide our live online classes … it’s a great course and I feel more prepared to face my students and help them through any challenges they may encounter!”
– Rachel D.