In response to added pressures on essential workers during COVID-19, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has developed a trio of free crisis response training programs designed to help front-line workers deal with the stress of these exceptional circumstances.
“I believe in paying it forward,” explained Louise Bradley, president and CEO of the MHCC. “We’re seeing all kinds of organizations stepping into the breach to do their part, from making protective gear to building ventilators. We asked ourselves, ‘What is it that we can offer?’ and the answer was clear: mental health training.”
Not only are those working in essential roles during COVID-19 at increased physical risk, they may also be experiencing mental health challenges or be called upon to support a person experiencing a crisis.
The three new online programs ꟷ Caring for Yourself, Caring for Your Team, and Caring for Others ꟷ are designed to help people deal with these new challenges and are based on the MHCC’s successful in-person courses: Mental Health First Aid and The Working Mind.
Caring for Yourself and Caring for Your Team focus on understanding, assessing, and improving mental health, both as an individual and within group settings. Caring for Others focuses on how to confidently engage in conversations about mental health during a crisis, whether it’s with your family and friends or in your communities and workplaces.
Participants will be introduced to the Mental Health Continuum Model, the “Big 4” coping strategies, and other tools to foster mental wellness and improve resiliency.
“We saw a need and were able to quickly pivot from our usual in-person, in-depth courses, and adapt our skills-based approach to this new context,” said Mike Pietrus, director of the MHCC’s Opening Minds anti-stigma initiative.
“As we paused our traditional course delivery, it was quickly evident that we could harness the tremendous skills of our trainers to bring some useful, hands-on coping strategies and practical stress-management skills to a community that is doing so much to keep the country up and running and safe.”
Registration for these time-limited courses is on a first-come, first-served basis. For essential workers, as defined by the government of Canada, they are being offered at no cost.
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / firstname.lastname@example.org